Wisdom Teeth Surgery: When Can You Drink Alcohol?

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Medically reviewed by Othman Lahmaydi, RDH

Getting your wisdom teeth removed is often a necessary procedure to reduce pain, but if you’re not careful after the surgery, you might find yourself with some similarly painful consequences. For instance, if you reach for a bottle of your favorite booze after having your tooth extracted, it might lead to unnecessary complications, prolonging your recovery. So, when is it safe to consume alcohol again after wisdom teeth surgery?

You should avoid drinking alcohol for at least 48 hours following your wisdom teeth surgery, but, ideally, you should wait for 7–10 days. If you’re taking pills to help with pain after the surgery, make sure you don’t mix those with alcohol; doing so could cause an adverse reaction.

Although alcohol should be avoided, there are plenty of other drinks that you can enjoy after your surgery. Let’s look at the drinks that are safe for you and the necessary precautions you should take post-surgery.

For How Long After Wisdom Teeth Surgery Should You Avoid Alcohol?

Wisdom teeth extraction

Once you have your wisdom teeth removed, you should avoid having any alcohol for at least 48 hours. Some dentists even suggest avoiding alcoholic beverages for at least 7-10 days after getting your teeth removed to allow the tissues to heal completely, but the first two days are especially crucial.

In the first days after the surgery, you need to let your mouth rest and heal. You need to let blood clots develop to make sure the bleeding stops. Drinking alcohol can get in the way of that process.

And if you’re prescribed painkillers or if you’re taking some over-the-counter medicine to help with the pain, mixing them with alcohol can lead to adverse reactions and is highly taxing on the liver.

This is why it’s best to avoid drinking any alcohol until you stop taking pain medications. Instead, make sure you drink plenty of water and stay hydrated to boost the healing process.   

Other Drinks to Avoid

In addition to alcohol, it’s also best if you avoid particularly acidic drinks for at least a week. This includes sodas and other drinks containing citric acid.

Such drinks can irritate the healing areas of the mouth and further prolong the recovery time. You should also avoid drinking hot coffee for at least two days after the surgery. 

Drinks You Can Consume

Water isn’t the only thing you can drink after you have your wisdom teeth removed — you can still have other flavored drinks without having problems. For instance, you can drink things like Gatorade, smoothies, ginger ale, milkshakes, and apple juice. You can also drink cold coffee 24 hours after the procedure.

If you’re not sure about a certain drink, consult your dentist to make sure it won’t jeopardize your recovery before gulping it down. 

What Happens if You Drink Alcohol Too Soon?

Once a wisdom tooth is removed, a blood clot must develop at the extraction site to encourage the formation of granulation tissue.

This usually takes around a week, but if the blood clot doesn’t form for some reason or if it’s dislodged, then it can lead to a very painful condition known as dry socket, which can make recovery not just slow but also quite painful. 

If you drink alcohol too soon, you increase the chances of dry socket and other complications. Plus, it can come in the way of the natural healing process of the body and even increase the risk of infections. 

What Else to Avoid While Recovering From Wisdom Teeth

Cold COmpress on Toothache

In addition to avoiding alcohol after wisdom teeth surgery, there are some other precautions you should take. For instance, you should avoid:

  • Vigorously rinsing your mouth – doing so can dislodge the clot
  • Drinking through a straw for at least a day
  • Spitting for at least a day after the surgery
  • Using tobacco or smoking for at least 72 hours

To ensure the wisdom tooth surgery recovery process goes smoothly, you should also follow these tips:

  • Take it easy and rest for at least a day after the extractions.
  • Put some gauze in your mouth and bite on it for at least a few hours after the surgery to allow a clot to form. Just make sure you change it as needed. 
  • Eat soft but nutritious food until the pain goes away.
  • Follow the aftercare instructions provided by your dentist and maintain an oral hygiene routine.
  • Apply an ice pack or cold compress — like this one (on Amazon) — on your cheek near the extraction site to reduce bruising, pain, and swelling. 

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