For millions of people, coffee is part of their daily routine. If that is true of you, and you have an upcoming appointment for a tooth extraction, you might wonder if your procedure will affect your ability to enjoy your favorite caffeinated beverage. Sadly, you will have to abstain from coffee for a few days during your recovery. Let’s talk about why that is so important.
Coffee and Dry Socket
After a tooth extraction, a blood clot should form at the site of the missing tooth. The clot is a vital part of the body’s healing process. Unfortunately, drinking coffee can prevent that clot from forming or disturb a newly formed clot, leading to a painful condition known as dry socket. Dry socket is highly treatable, but it is quite unpleasant, and it can significantly slow down your overall healing time.
How does coffee contribute to dry socket? There are two main ways:
- Temperature. Most people like to enjoy their coffee hot. The high temperature of the liquid can disturb a new blood clot. It can also irritate nerve endings in the exposed socket. Hence, it’s best to avoid all hot beverages, not just coffee, during the first part of your recovery.
- Caffeine. Caffeine causes your blood vessels to dilate, leading to increased blood flow and blood pressure. This can increase the risk of bleeding, which may dissolve or dislodge the blood clot at your extraction site.
When Can You Drink Coffee Again?
It’s generally recommended to wait 5 days before you reintroduce coffee into your diet. However, for some patients, they should wait a few weeks, particularly if they had a surgical extraction, such as the removal of impacted wisdom teeth. Your oral surgeon will make a specific recommendation based on your situation.
When you start drinking coffee again, it’s best to do so gradually at first; you might start with a small cup of coffee or a large cup of half-decaf to see how your body reacts. If you notice any bleeding or extra tenderness, you may need to stop again until your healing process progresses more.
What to Drink Instead of Coffee
It’s important to stay hydrated after your procedure, so be sure to drink plenty of water. You can also enjoy things like smoothies and broth. If you feel like having a cup of tea, choose a noncaffeinated variety, and make sure it cools down adequately before you start to sip on it.
Coffee is a wonderful drink — but it’s not something you should indulge in immediately after a tooth extraction. Waiting at least several days after your procedure to start drinking it will protect your oral health and spare you from pain.
Meet the Oral Surgeons
Drs. Steve Koo, Thomas Weil, and William Shepard are the oral and maxillofacial surgeons in our practice. They have many years of combined experience, and they are always careful to take extra steps to promote patient safety and comfort. If you have questions about wisdom tooth removal, post-op care, or anything else related to our services, our team will be happy to speak with you. Contact us at 713-783-5560.