If you enjoy a glass of wine after a long day or drink a few beers on the weekend, having a tooth removed will affect your lifestyle for a couple of weeks. Alcohol can increase your risk of healing delays and a painful condition called dry socket. Here’s how long you’re going to have to wait before enjoying an adult beverage after tooth extraction.
Types of Tooth Extractions
Two types of tooth extractions can be used, depending on your situation, which include:
- Simple Extraction: A simple extraction is suitable when a tooth is fully visible above the gum tissue. Your dentist will numb the area before loosening the tooth and removing it with forceps.
- Surgical Extraction: If a tooth is partially or fully impacted below the gum tissue, you will require surgical extraction. Sedation is used to keep you comfortable while your gum tissue is opened to gain access to the tooth, which will be removed in pieces. Your mouth will be sutured closed.
Alcohol Can Cause Delayed Healing
Although alcohol can help you unwind, most dentists recommend waiting at least 7 to 10 days before drinking. Alcohol is known to affect the body’s immune system, which can delay healing or increase your risk of infections. It also causes dehydration, which can increase the rate of oral bacteria growth in your mouth. Besides the risk of infections, alcohol can cause the blood clot format in the extraction site to be lost too soon. As a result, the nerves and underlying bone can be exposed, causing a dry socket that can be very painful.
Alcohol Can Interact with Medications
Alcohol can also interact poorly with prescribed and over-the-counter pain medications. You’ll need pain medicine for a few days to keep you comfortable. It’s best to wait until you are no longer taking any pain medications before drinking alcohol.
Recovering from a Tooth Extraction
You can ensure a quick recovery by following a few tips:
- Control Bleeding: Bite on gauze for 30 minutes to control bleeding and change it as necessary. Any bleeding should subside within 24 hours.
- Manage Pain: Take a prescribed or OTC pain reliever as instructed by your dentist.
- Get Plenty of Rest: Spend at least 24 hours resting until the effects of any numbing agents or sedatives dissipate. Avoid any strenuous activities for at least one week.
- Watch What You Eat: Eat soft foods that are easy to chew. Avoid anything spicy, crunchy, or sharp.
- Protect the Blood Clot: Don’t drink through a straw because it can dislodge the blood clot. Do not rinse your mouth vigorously after brushing and flossing. It’s best to stop smoking until after your mouth has healed.
Your dentist will explain everything you need to know to ensure a speedy recovery. Although you may have to skip drinking for a few days, it’s a sacrifice that will ensure there aren’t any complications after your extraction.
About Dr. Sean Bannan
Dr. Bannan earned his dental degree from the University of Michigan School of Dentistry and has regularly continued his education in specialty services. He is a proud member of several professional organizations, including the American Dental Association. If you need a tooth removed, request an appointment through our website or call (386) 267-6463.