Did you recently get your wisdom teeth removed?
Chances are, you are interested to know when you can resume eating your favorite spicy curries and fiery stir-fries, right?
Well, we’re glad you found us.
We understand wisdom teeth removal often leaves patients with painful and sore wounds. This makes it difficult for them to enjoy their favorite dishes, which may include hot and spicy foods.
Fortunately, this guide delves into the question that plagues most patients after wisdom teeth extraction: “When can I eat spicy foods again?”.
So, stick around because you’re in for an interesting healing journey.
Wisdom Teeth Removal
Before we dive into the main topic, let’s first understand what happens during wisdom teeth extraction and healing.
When you visit your dentist to remove wisdom teeth, he (or she) will administer local anesthesia near the site of extraction to numb it. From there, the specialist will loosen the tooth from its socket and remove it using specialized dental tools.
Usually, the surgical procedure takes around one hour. But the time can vary depending on the nature and number of wisdom teeth removed.
After removal, your dentist will clean the site and stitch up the wound to promote healing. Also, the specialist will place a temporary gauze over the wound to control bleeding and help in blood clot formation.
Wisdom tooth removal is an outpatient procedure, meaning you can head home the same day. However, you must follow the dentist’s instructions if you want the wound to heal. That could include:
- Avoiding excessive spitting to prevent dislodging the blood clot in the socket
- Taking pain management medications
- Managing swelling and bruising
- Avoiding strenuous activities for 48 hours after the procedure
- Don’t brush your teeth or use mouthwash during the first 24 hours after the procedure
During the first few days after the tooth extraction, you might experience swelling, discomfort, and even restricted jaw movement. But worry not! These side effects are temporary and will pass.
However, if the swelling (gums, jaw, or face) increases even after taking pain medication, consult your dentist promptly. The same goes for oozing discharge.
Can I Consume Spicy Food After Wisdom Teeth Removal?
With that out of the way, let’s address how spicy foods can affect your healing process after teeth removal.
While some people argue that spicy food can increase the extraction site healing rate, no scientific study supports this statement. Because of this, most experts recommend against eating such foods.
First, these foods contain several active compounds like capsaicin, which can increase pressure in your mouth and throat. As a result, you might experience unnecessary pain and necessary discomfort.
These compounds can irritate sensitive tissue in your mouth, leading to further bleeding and delayed healing.
If that’s not enough, spicy foods with cayenne pepper or paprika can increase swelling and inflammation. They might also reduce your appetite, leading to a poor nutritional status post-tooth removal surgery.
And the worst part? Eating spicy dishes too soon after the procedure can lead to issues like alveolar otitis or dry socket syndrome. This painful condition occurs when the blood clot in the tooth extraction area dislodges before the wound heals.
Normally, a blood clot forms in the empty socket after tooth extraction. This clot protects the underlying bone and nerve endings, allowing the wound to heal.
But when it dislodges or dissolves, the underlying soft tissue, bone, and nerves become exposed, resulting in intense pain.
So, before satisfying your fiery cravings, wait for your mouth to heal completely.
How Long After Wisdom Teeth Removal Can I Eat Spicy Foods?
Now, it’s time to tackle the million-dollar question: when is it safe to eat spicy food?
Truthfully, you need patience in this situation. On the first day post-removal, your stitches and tissues will be super sensitive.
Because of this, your dentist will most likely recommend soft foods like mashed potatoes or broth. This helps prevent unnecessary irritation in the mouth, preventing the timely healing of the wounds.
You should also note that chewing anything at this point might be hard because of the lingering soreness caused by the procedure.
So, if you want to enjoy spicy foods, wait till your mouth heals. This generally takes around one to two weeks, depending on the nature of the wound. If the surgical site is still soft and sore after one week, wait a few more days before spicing up your dishes.
Food To Avoid Wisdom Teeth Extractions
Besides spicy foods, your dentist might suggest you avoid other foods too. These include:
1. Highly Acidic Foods
Keep away from citrus fruits, tomatoes, and vinegar. These foods contain high levels of acid that can cause a surprising amount of pain and a burning sensation on the healing site. They can also irritate the surfaces around the wound, delaying healing.
2. Hard Foods and Raw Vegetables
Avoid hard and crunchy foods because they can place pressure on your healing socket, jaw, and bone, making them painful. These foods include popcorn, chips, hard sweets, ice, and nuts.
Hard raw vegetables and fruits like apples, carrots, and broccoli might also cause you significant pain. When you chew these foods, the small, sharp piece can poke the wound and disrupt the healing process.
Sometimes, pieces of the food could get lodged into the empty socket, resulting in an infection of the gums or jaw. So, please wait till the incision heals fully.
3. Liquids That Require a Straw
While your dentist might recommend drinking liquids and soft foods in the first few days of post-surgery, avoid using a straw.
This is because the suction needed to draw the liquid through a straw might displace the blood clot in the socket, causing bleeding.
The empty socket will also be susceptible to infection, or you might develop a dry mouth.
4. Chewy Foods
Chewy foods like jerky, candies, and steak can cause serious damage to sensitive stitches and inflamed jaw. So, it’s better to wait for about a week for all the inflammation to reduce and your jaw to heal.
5. Alcoholic Beverages
If often smoke or drink, you better stay away from alcohol and tobacco after tooth removal. Otherwise, these products can delay recovery. Sometimes, beer, wine, or cigarettes can negatively interact with the prescribed medications.
It also helps to avoid hot beverages.
What Foods Can I Eat After Wisdom Teeth Extraction?
After the first day of wisdom teeth extraction, the dental team might suggest several foods to prevent irritation of the surgical area. These could include:
Warm, blended butternut, tomato, or squash soups can offer you all the nutrients you need while being easy to swallow. Secondly, they are tasty and provide the needed hydration.
Another tasty snack you can try after tooth extraction is Greek yogurt. Rich in protein and calcium, yogurt aid in recovery and is easy to consume.
Smoothies made from healthy fruits and vegetables make great snacks and desserts. They offer you lots of vitamins while ensuring they don’t affect the recovery process.
4. Mashed potatoes
Mashed potatoes are arguably the best food to consume after wisdom tooth extraction. Not only is this hearty root vegetable soft, but also fills you up faster. However, eat them lukewarm to avoid irritating the extraction site.
5. Scrambled Eggs
High in proteins, vitamins, and minerals, scrambled eggs are perfect for your body. They are easy to chew and swallow and contain omega-3, which aids in recovery. To spice up things a little, consider incorporating some cheese and avocado on top.
Other foods worth considering:
- Ice cream
- Macaroni and cheese
Tips to Introduce Spicy Foods
Once your wound heals, you might be tempted to get spicy food back on the menu. While we have no problem with that, there’s a high chance your mouth will be more sensitive than usual. That means you might find spicy foods somehow irritating.
So, the best way to introduce your mouth to the world of spice is to start with mild or low-spice cuisines. A Milder version of your favorite food will prevent irritation while allowing you to enjoy heavenly flavors.
If you opt for extremely spicy or hot dishes, you might experience some discomfort. Therefore, monitor any signs of sensitivity or discomfort and adjust your spice levels accordingly. In case of an adverse reaction after eating spicy foods, it’s best to stay away from the food for some time.
Congratulations, you have made it through our post on wisdom teeth removal. But before you go, it’s vital to exercise patience after wisdom teeth removal.
The recovery process takes time, so don’t rush back into spicy food. Otherwise, you will only prevent the wound from healing. You might also increase your susceptibility to dry mouth or infections.
Wait for a week or two for the extraction site to heal completely. After that, you can reintroduce spicy dishes to your menu. But start with milder versions to avoid unnecessary irritation or discomfort.
That’s all for today. Bon appétit!