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No, Thanks: Why You Can’t Drink Alcohol After Tooth Extractions

March 14, 2024

Filed under: Uncategorized — amherstdental @ 4:47 pm
glass of alcohol and ice with dark background

When you’ve had a hard day, a drink of some sort of alcohol can help you unwind. Although undergoing tooth extraction can certainly qualify as a tough day, your dentist tells you strictly not to drink alcohol. Why?

To understand their reasoning, you first need to know about the healing process and how alcohol can negatively impact it. Keep reading to learn how to set yourself up for success after tooth extraction.

What Is Essential for Healing After a Tooth Extraction?

Whether your extraction requires surgical or standard removal, healing must involve the same thing: a blood clot over the site. This clot forms in the hours after the procedure, and it plays a critical role in the healing process. As the vulnerable tissues underneath recover, the clot keeps bacteria from entering. If this clot isn’t there to protect the site, an infection called dry socket, which is very painful, can develop.

This blood clot is one of the main reasons why your dentist tells you to rest for several days from hard labor or strenuous activity. It’s also the reason they instruct you to not smoke or use a straw (the sucking motion can dislodge the clot).

Alcohol of any kind is prohibited following tooth extractions. Obviously, you need to stay hydrated to help your body heal, but water is a much more appropriate beverage to also help your mouth fight bacteria and infection and keep the blood clot in place.

Why Can’t You Have Alcohol After Tooth Extraction?

Alcohol is notoriously known to prevent blood from clotting, meaning that in the case of tooth extraction recovery, it increases the odds of dry socket complications. Until the fibers in the gum tissue heal enough underneath, you must do everything you can to preserve that clot, which entails passing on alcohol temporarily.

In addition to putting the blood clot in danger, alcohol can be a risky substance during this time because of the pain medication you may be taking. Even over-the-counter pain medication can negatively interact with alcohol and lead to serious consequences for your health and safety as well as for those around you.

When Can You Have Alcohol Again?

Although you should follow what your dentist tells you over general advice, typically alcohol becomes allowed again after at least 7 to 10 days after the procedure. In that time, the tissues should be strong enough to block out bacteria without the clot being in place. Again, adhere to your dentist’s instructions, and you should be fine. If you experience escalating pain, a fever, or other unusual symptoms, call your dentist immediately.

Even if you would like a drink afterward, it’s best for everyone if you pass on alcohol for a while following tooth extraction. While you heal, you can find other ways to help you unwind from the experience, such as binge watch your favorite show, take a nap, have ice cream or Jell-O, or snuggle up with a good book. Perhaps you don’t need alcohol after all!

About the Practice

Amherst Dental Group performs gentle tooth extractions and offers sedation to help patients stay comfortable and stress free during the procedure. We also provide detailed instructions for aftercare to avoid complications like dry socket. Our dentists have years of advanced training and experience that give our patients the best possible outcome. If you have questions about tooth extractions or complications, you can contact our Williamsville office by calling 716-689-8882 or clicking here.

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