Getting your wisdom teeth removed is a common procedure that many people undergo in their late teens or early 20s. After the surgery, you may wonder what you can and cannot eat as your mouth heals. One common question is whether it’s okay to eat hot foods after wisdom tooth extraction.
Eating can be tricky after wisdom tooth surgery. Your mouth and gums need time to recover. Hot foods, in particular, can irritate the surgical site and delay healing. However, with some care and precaution, you can usually enjoy warmer foods again within a few days.
Can You Eat Hot Food After Wisdom Teeth Removal?
Here are some general guidelines on eating hot foods after wisdom tooth extraction:
- Days 1-3: Stick to cool and room temperature foods. Avoid very hot foods that could burn the surgical site. Soups and foods that are warm but not piping hot are also risky.
- Days 4-7: You can start introducing warmer foods like steamed vegetables, casseroles, and soups. Take small bites and make sure to chew away from the surgical sites.
- 1-2 weeks after: By now, your mouth should be healed enough to handle most hot foods. Still, use some caution and avoid foods that are extremely hot in temperature.
So in summary, during the first few days, it’s best to avoid anything hot that could irritate the extraction sites. After 1-2 weeks, your mouth is generally healed enough to handle spicy foods and hot temperatures again. Go slow and listen to your body. If a food causes pain or discomfort, avoid it until you finish healing.
Why Hot Foods Are a Concern After Wisdom Teeth Removal
There are a few reasons why oral surgeons recommend avoiding hot foods right after wisdom tooth removal:
- Burn risk – Hot foods or liquids can burn or irritate the fresh extraction sites and nearby gums. This can increase inflammation and pain.
- Dry socket risk – Dry socket is a common wisdom tooth complication where the blood clot at the surgery site gets dislodged. This leaves the bone and nerves exposed. Spicy, crunchy, or hot foods may dislodge the clot and raise the risk of dry socket.
- Discomfort – Even if a hot food doesn’t burn or dislodge the clot, it may cause irritation and pain around the surgical site while you are still healing.
So hot foods require extra chewing and contact with the surgery sites, which can hinder proper healing after wisdom tooth extraction.
Tips for Eating Hot Foods After Wisdom Teeth Removal
Once your oral surgeon gives you the all-clear, you can start adding hot foods back into your diet. Here are some tips to eat them safely:
- Take small bites – Don’t overload your mouth with hot food. Smaller bites reduce the amount of irritation to your surgical sites.
- Chew carefully – Chew hot foods gently and deliberately. Avoid chewing on the side where your wisdom teeth were extracted.
- Let it cool first – If a food is too hot, let it cool down a bit before eating. Blow on hot soups and drinks before sipping.
- Stay hydrated – Drink lots of cool water before and while eating spicy or hot foods to keep your mouth moist and comfortable.
- Avoid hard, crunchy foods – Hard or crunchy foods like chips or nuts may get stuck in the extraction sites, even if they aren’t hot. Stick to soft, gentle foods.
- Use numbing gel – If your gums are still sore, apply numbing gel to the area before eating anything hot. This can minimize discomfort.
- Stop if it hurts – Don’t force yourself to eat any hot foods that cause pain. Stick to cool and room temperature foods until you feel better.
Follow these tips to enjoy hot meals again after wisdom teeth removal. Most importantly, listen to your body and don’t push it. Aim to gradually reintroduce hot foods over a couple of weeks as you finish the healing process.
After Wisdom Teeth Removal
Here are some hot foods that are generally safe to eat in the days following your wisdom tooth extraction:
- Warm broth-based soups (not piping hot)
- Oatmeal or porridge
- Mashed potatoes
- Macaroni and cheese
- Custards or pudding
- Steamed vegetables
- Scrambled eggs
- Miso soup
- Warm casseroles
- Soft cooked pasta with sauce
- Stews or chilis
- Baked potatoes
Avoid anything too hot or that requires extensive chewing at first. Soft, warm foods are ideal after surgery. Introduce foods slowly over several weeks, starting with room temperature options and working your way up to hot but not searing temperatures.
Foods to Avoid After Wisdom Teeth Removal
On the flip side, here are some hot, spicy, or crunchy foods it’s best to avoid in the immediate days following your wisdom tooth removal:
- Extremely hot foods or drinks – Anything that could burn or irritate the surgical sites. Wait until they are completely healed.
- Crunchy chips or nuts – These can get trapped in the extraction sites. Stick to soft foods that are easy to chew.
- Spicy chilis or curries – Heavily spiced dishes can irritate the surgery site. Hold off until your mouth recovers.
- Tough meats – Foods like steak or jerky require a lot of chewing, which may disrupt healing. Go for softer proteins for now.
- Hard vegetables – Avoid raw veggies like carrots or corn on the cob that may irritate the area. Cook vegetables to soften them.
- Carbonated drinks – Bubbly sodas or beers may sting the extraction site. Enjoy non-carbonated options until healed.
- Popcorn – The kernels can get stuck in your surgery sites as you heal. Save popcorn for later.
Take it easy for the first 1-2 weeks after surgery. There will be plenty of time to enjoy your favorite spicy, crunchy or piping hot foods later on. Be patient with your healing and stick to soft, mild foods in the early days of recovery.
Signs You May Be Reintroducing Hot Foods Too Soon
As you reintroduce hotter foods, watch out for these signs you may be pushing things too quickly:
- Pain or throbbing at the surgery sites when eating
- Sensitivity to hot or cold foods
- Food getting stuck in the extraction sites
- Gum swelling around the area
- Bleeding from the surgery site
- Bad breath or foul taste in your mouth
These are signs you may be irritating the area and hindering healing. Don’t force yourself to eat foods that cause discomfort. Scale back to cooler foods and give it more time before trying hot foods again. Call your oral surgeon if pain, bleeding or other problems persist.
When to Call Your Oral Surgeon
With any surgery, complications can occur during the recovery process. Contact your oral surgeon right away if you experience:
- Excessive bleeding that won’t stop
- Pus or discharge coming from the surgery site
- Red, swollen gums or a swollen face
- Bad odor or taste coming from the extraction site
- Severe pain not relieved by medication
- Fever over 101 F
These may be signs of a complication like dry socket or infection. Your oral surgeon can provide medications or interventions to manage the issue. Don’t wait with worrying symptoms, as prompt treatment leads to the best outcome.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some common questions about eating hot foods after wisdom tooth extraction:
Can I drink hot coffee after wisdom tooth removal?
You’ll want to avoid piping hot coffee for the first 3-7 days after surgery. The heat and acidity can irritate the fresh extraction sites. After 1-2 weeks, you can resume drinking warm coffee in moderation as the area heals. Cool the coffee down a bit and rinse your mouth gently afterward.
When can I eat spicy foods again after wisdom teeth removal?
Aim to avoid heavily spiced or acidic foods for at least 1-2 weeks after your wisdom tooth surgery. The spices and heat can inflame your gums as they heal. Around days 14-21, you can start adding mildly spicy foods back into your diet in moderation.
Is warm soup okay to eat after getting my wisdom teeth out?
Warm – but not hot – soups are usually fine starting 4-7 days after surgery. Avoid piping hot soup at first, as the heat and pressure of slurping could bother your extraction sites. Cool down the soup or broth and take small sips to be safe.
Can I eat steak after having my wisdom teeth removed?
Tough, chewy meats like steak are hard to bite and chew after wisdom tooth surgery. Try to avoid them for the first 1-2 weeks. When your mouth has healed more, you can eat softened, thoroughly cooked steak cut into small bites and chewed gently on the opposite side from your extraction sites.
When can I eat chips again after wisdom tooth extraction?
Hard, crunchy chips can be troublesome after extraction, as particles may get lodged in the surgery site. Avoid them for 2 weeks at minimum, and stick to soft foods. When your oral surgeon gives the all-clear, try chips again but use caution – stop if you feel any discomfort or pain.
Normal healing after wisdom tooth extraction takes 1-2 weeks. During this time, it’s best to avoid extremely hot, spicy or crunchy foods that could irritate the surgery site. Warm, soft foods are safest as you recover. Around days 7-14, you can start carefully introducing hotter foods again. Take small bites, chew gently away from the extraction site, and stop eating if you feel significant pain or discomfort. With care and patience, you should be back to enjoying all your favorite hot, spicy meals again soon. Just follow your oral surgeon’s directions and take it slow as your mouth heals.