Can I Drink Alcohol after a Tooth Extraction?

August 20, 2022

Filed under: Uncategorized — Steve Koo @ 1:49 pm
Woman enjoying alcoholic beverage after recovering from a tooth extraction

Most people enjoy an occasional cocktail, beer, or glass of wine. If that is true of you, you might wonder how dental treatments may affect your ability to consume your favorite adult beverage. Is it okay to drink alcohol after a tooth extraction? Let’s talk about the answer to that question. We’ll also provide other tips to help you enjoy a smooth recovery from your procedure.

Drinking Alcohol after an Extraction Is Not a Good Idea

There are a couple reasons why drinking alcohol in the days immediately after a tooth extraction is unwise:

  1. After your tooth is extracted, a blood clot should form over the surgical site. Without the blood clot, you could develop a painful complication known as dry socket. Unfortunately, consuming alcohol in the days following your extraction could interfere with the formation of the blood clot.
  2. It is normal to experience some discomfort after a tooth extraction. Depending on the extent of your procedure, you might even have a prescription for a powerful pain medication. Mixing pain relievers — whether they are prescription or over-the-counter products — with alcohol could lead to dangerous side effects.

How Long Should You Wait to Have a Drink?

Generally speaking, patients should wait 7 – 10 days following an extraction before they resume consuming alcohol. Of course, your oral surgeon may have a different recommendation that is based on your unique circumstances; be sure to prioritize their specific guidance over any general recommendations. At the very least, you should wait until you are no longer taking pain medication before your pour yourself an adult beverage.

Other Tips for a Smooth Recovery

In addition to temporarily avoiding alcohol, there are other steps you can take to facilitate a smooth and complication-free recovery:

  • Use a cold compress on the side of your face to reduce swelling.
  • Get plenty of rest, and elevate your head to prevent blood from rushing to the surgical site.
  • Stick to a soft diet, which can include things like mashed potatoes, pudding, and protein shakes.
  • Do not smoke or use any tobacco products for at least three days after your appointment.
  • Do not vigorously swish with mouthwash or any other liquid; doing so could dislodge your blood clot.

If you run into any questions or concerns while you are on the mend, be sure to let your dentist or oral surgeon know as soon as possible. They will either give you guidance over the phone or urge you to come in for an appointment. They want your recovery to be comfortable!

A tooth extraction temporarily makes alcohol off-limits. After your recovery, however, you can feel free to resume enjoying your favorite beverages in moderation.

Meet the Practice

Drs. Steve Koo and William Shepard are the board-certified oral and maxillofacial surgeons at our practice. Surgical tooth removal, including wisdom teeth extractions, are among the many services they offer. If you are curious about what to expect during or after an extraction procedure, our team would be pleased to answer your questions. Contact us at 832-353-1100.