If you recently had to undergo a wisdom tooth removal, you’re probably counting the hours till you can resume your regular diet while following your doctor’s instructions. Don’t worry, you’re like most people who love pizza, so one question that’s probably on your mind is, when can I eat pizza after wisdom teeth removal?
The first few days after wisdom teeth extraction are often the most critical days. You’re advised to avoid solid or chewy food like bread, nuts, and the like. Pizza is a bread-based dish, so this rule also applies to it.
Depending on the rate at which your body heals, you should be able to eat pizza within five to seven days after the procedure.
How Soon Can I Eat Pizza After Wisdom Teeth Extraction?
Certain factors determine how soon you can return to eating your favorite Italian cheese and bread-based dish after wisdom teeth extraction. These include immunity, the type of procedure carried out, and doctor’s recommendations.
Due to the chewy nature of pizza, it is generally recommended that you wait till at least five days after the surgery before you eat it. If your stitches take longer to heal, you might have to wait longer. Any sooner, and you’re putting yourself at risk of causing complications and delaying the healing process.
If you got multiple stitches or had to remove your lower wisdom teeth, you might be in more pain or discomfort than if you removed your upper wisdom teeth. This means your recovery will take longer, and you may not sink your teeth into that fresh slice of pizza as soon as you’d hoped.
How Can I Know If I’m Ready to Eat Pizza After Wisdom Teeth Extraction?
Returning to your regular diet largely depends on how the extraction site feels. If it still feels stiff, painful, or sore, you’re most likely not healed. If you’re still in doubt about whether or not you’ve made a full recovery, here are some signs to help you know;
1. Lessened Pain
When the anesthesia wears off after the first few hours, you must use doctor-prescribed painkillers to ease the pain. However, as you heal, you should be able to go off pain medication because the pain is expected to become more tolerable.
If the pain only worsens after several days, you should visit your dentist. Depending on the procedure that was carried out on you, your dentist will do a thorough check and point out any anomalies.
2. Flexible Jaw Muscles
The anesthesia used during the procedure often makes your jaw stiff and numb. This stiffness usually lasts up to a few hours or days after the surgery, but it will wear off as you heal, and your jaw should feel more flexible with time.
Eating pizza with a stiff jaw will most likely be an uncomfortable, painful, and tiring experience. Hence, it would be best to wait until you regain complete control of your jaw muscles before eating chewy food.
3. Absence of Stitches
Depending on the type of extraction that was carried out, your doctor may have used stitches that will dissolve with time or be removed. Either way, it is only safe to start trying out pizza when there are no longer stitches at the extraction site.
4. Your Dentist’s Approval
Most importantly, consult your dentist before making any significant changes to your diet. Even if you feel like you’ve fully recovered, talk to your doctor and only proceed to eat pizza when you get an okay.
How to Eat Pizza After Wisdom Teeth Extraction?
You’re expected to stick to liquids and soft food the first few days after wisdom teeth extraction. During this period, your diet should mainly consist of apple sauce, pudding, oatmeal, mashed potatoes, and the like.
However, if you finally get an okay and decide to hop back on the pizza train, you must ensure you don’t just resume eating pizza like you used to. Your mouth is still recovering and will undoubtedly need some time to adjust.
Here are a few guidelines you can use to make sure you’re eating pizza the right way;
- Soft Dough: Pizza dough is usually chewier than the type of dough used for bread. So, if you’re preparing your pizza from scratch, ensure you make the dough consistent with the regular dough, which will be easier to chew. Otherwise, you can request more sauces or liquid condiments on your pizza to make it softer.
- Small Bites: As juicy as your pizza may be, you should take manageable bites that will be less difficult to chew. Take small bites, chew with the unaffected side of your mouth, and try not to overwork your jaws.
- Soft Toppings: As much as you may want to go for regular toppings like pepperoni, bacon, or sausages, it is best to stick to delicate toppings that will not cause pain. This includes toppings like mushrooms, cheese, and olives.
You can also opt for soft, high-protein toppings like fish or lean meat. Just ensure it is cooked till it is soft and chewable. Generally avoid spicy, hot, or acidic toppings as they may irritate your gums and cause more pain.
What Happens If I Eat Pizza Immediately After Wisdom Teeth Extraction
If you misjudged your readiness and had pizza too soon after wisdom teeth extraction, you’re putting yourself at risk of complications. These complications include but are not limited to;
1. Dry Socket
Part of the healing involves a process where a blood clot forms at the extraction site a few hours after wisdom teeth extraction. This blood clot helps to protect your bone during the healing process and eating chewy pizza before the wound heals will lead to a dislodged blood clot.
Once the blood clot has been dislodged, it exposes you to the risk of developing a dry socket. A dry socket is when a dry, whitish bone can be noticed in the extraction site instead of the blood clot and it is often painful and is sometimes misdiagnosed as chronic extraction pains.
However, dry socket pain worsens with time and radiates toward the neck with time. If you suspect you have a dry socket, contact your dentist as soon as possible.
Eating pizza immediately after wisdom teeth removal can cause pieces of food to get stuck in the extraction site. This leads to bacteria build-up, which will cause an infection if not taken care of immediately.
If you have developed an infection, you might experience chills, high fever, stiff jaw muscles, excessive blood, or pus from the extraction site. It is best to contact your dentist to prevent your condition from worsening.
What Else Should I Avoid After Wisdom Teeth Extraction?
Besides chewy pizza, you should avoid lots of food for the first few days after extraction. Experts advise that you only stick to liquids for the first few hours before trying soft food and solids.
Here are some examples of food you should stay away from during your recovery process;
1. Crunchy Food
Any food that crunches and snaps when you chew should be avoided during the first few days after your surgery. This is because they work your jaws more, increasing pain and delaying healing.
Some crunchy foods you should avoid include nuts, onion rings, chips, popcorn, raw vegetables, and other foods of similar consistency.
2. Hot or Spicy Food
If your food is soft but has just come out of the microwave or stove, it is still a no-go area. Hot food only further irritates your gums and may cause scarring if you’re not careful. Instead of eating hot food straight from the stove, opt for warm food, which is easier to chew and swallow.
Additionally, it would be helpful if you stayed away from excessively spicy food. Over-spicy food also irritates the mouth and will delay how fast your wounds heal.
3. Chewy Food
Chewy food will work your jaw muscles excessively, causing more pain. It is best to avoid them within the first few days before slowly adding them back to your diet. Chewy food includes bagels, beef jerky, tough meat, caramel, taffy, etc.
4. Acidic Drinks
Even though you’re advised to stick to drinks in the initial hours after the procedure, some drinks will do more harm than good. As such, acidic beverages like citrus drinks and excessively sugary drinks like soda will slow your progress.
What to Eat After Wisdom Teeth Extraction?
If you’re ready to start adding semi-solids and solids back into your diet, here are some examples of food that is safe for you to eat after wisdom teeth removal;
Besides liquids like soups and broths, you can eat certain semi-solids that are not purely liquid but are easy to swallow with little to no chewing. This includes semi-solids like yogurt, smoothies, ice cream, jell-O, applesauce, pudding, and others.
When you start eating solids, ensure they’re soft and easily ingestible. Some examples of soft solid food you can start with include oatmeal, mushrooms, pureed vegetables, mashed vegetables, and soft or seedless fruit like avocados.
The first few hours after wisdom teeth extraction are vital as they set the pace for recovery. Hence, it would help if you only stuck to liquids before adding semi-solids or soft solids to your diet.
Pizza is a chewy food, so it must be avoided until at least three to five days after the surgery. When eating pizza after wisdom teeth extraction, ensure the dough is soft and easy to chew, as this puts less strain on your jaws.