Tooth extraction is a common dental procedure that involves removing a tooth from its socket in the bone. Dentists recommend avoiding alcohol afterward due to the risk of delayed healing.

Dentists perform extractions when a tooth has damage or decay and is beyond repair with fillings. People often experience discomfort following the procedure and may consider using alcohol to help alleviate the pain.

However, dentists do not recommend drinking alcohol after tooth extraction. It may hinder healing and recovery, such as thinning your blood when it needs to form a clot in the empty socket.

This article explores whether or not a person can drink alcohol after tooth extraction and provides alternative recovery tips.

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Typically, dentists do not recommend that people consume alcohol as they recover. Alcohol can cause dehydration and may inhibit the healing process, potentially leading to complications such as a dry socket or infection. Additionally, drinking alcohol while taking pain medication can increase the risk of negative side effects and interactions.

After tooth extraction, people must follow their dentist’s aftercare instructions to promote healing and prevent complications. These include:

Read all about tooth extractions.

Consuming alcohol after tooth extraction can increase the risk of complications that delay healing and cause discomfort.

  • Dehydration: Alcohol causes dehydration. After tooth extraction, the body must produce a blood clot in the socket to protect the underlying bone and nerves and promote healing. Dehydration can cause the blood clot to become dry and dislodge, leading to a painful condition called dry socket.
  • Delayed healing: Alcohol can make it more difficult for the body to heal. It inhibits the natural and necessary inflammatory processes and collagen production that wounds need to close. This can increase the risk of complications such as infection, which can be painful and require additional treatment.
  • Issues with pain medications: Alcohol can interact with pain medications that a dentist may prescribe after a tooth extraction. This can increase the risk of negative side effects and interactions, such as dizziness, nausea, and impaired judgment.

Learn more about the effects of alcohol.

Dentists can advise people on the length of time they should refrain from drinking alcohol after tooth extraction. They may suggest avoiding alcohol for at least 24 hours after the procedure to allow the tissues to heal and recover. Instead of alcohol, people can choose hydrating beverages such as water or lukewarm teas to support healing.

People should also avoid using straws, smoking, or engaging in other activities that can create suction or pressure in the mouth, as these can also increase the risk of complications.

Recovery after tooth extraction can vary depending on the individual, the complexity of the procedure, and the aftercare provided. However, people can follow some general guidelines to promote healing and ensure a smooth recovery.

Immediately following the procedure, people should avoid eating or drinking until the anesthesia has worn off. Dentists commonly administer local anesthesia to help numb the area and reduce pain during the procedure. Depending on the type of anesthesia, the numbness can take several hours to wear off completely.

People should avoid eating or drinking during this time as the numbness can cause accidental biting or burning of the mouth or tongue, which are painful and delay healing. It can also hinder the blood clot that forms in the socket of the extracted tooth.

In the days following the extraction, individuals should follow a soft diet, avoiding hard, crunchy, or sticky foods that can interfere with healing. People should also maintain good oral hygiene by gently brushing and flossing around the extraction site, being careful not to dislodge the blood clot.

Proper aftercare and following the dentist’s instructions can help promote healing and ensure a smooth recovery after a tooth extraction.

Tips

Alongside staying hydrated and avoiding alcohol, a person can help aid their recovery by:

  • avoiding strenuous activities for the first few days after the procedure to allow the body to heal
  • applying a cold compress or ice pack to the cheek on the affected side to reduce swelling, pain, and bruising
  • refraining from smoking, vaping, or using tobacco products
  • eating nutritious, soft foods that are not too hot or spicy
  • not rinsing the mouth vigorously to avoid dislodging the clot
  • avoiding straws
  • being gentle while brushing and flossing the teeth

Furthermore, people can contact their dentist if their discomfort does not improve in the days following the extraction or if they have signs of infection. These may include a foul taste or odor in the mouth, swelling, or redness. The dentist can evaluate the symptoms and provide appropriate treatment.

Aftercare following a tooth extraction is essential for promoting healing and preventing complications. Therefore, people should avoid consuming alcohol which can interfere with natural healing.

A person can follow the specific aftercare instructions provided by the dentist, including following a soft food diet and staying hydrated.

If someone experiences severe pain, swelling, bleeding, or other concerning symptoms, they should contact their dentist for evaluation and treatment.