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Can I Drink Alcohol After Tooth Extraction? And If Not, When?

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drinking after tooth extraction
When can you drink after extraction?

It's important to take extra care of yourself after a tooth extraction, which leads many to wonder “Can I drink alcohol after tooth extraction?

Unfortunately, alcohol consumption is not recommended after you have a tooth extracted. Read on to learn all about drinking alcohol after extractions, including:

  • Why you shouldn’t drink alcohol right after your surgery
  • When it’s okay to drink alcohol after a tooth extraction
  • If there really is a difference between a glass of wine, beer, or a cocktail

Is drinking alcohol dangerous after tooth extraction?

Drinking alcohol after your surgery is not recommended by dentists, as it can hinder your recovery and create problems for your health, including pain, infection, and dry socket. Keep reading to find out how.

Blood clot formation

Once you have a tooth removed from your mouth, the extraction hole needs to form a blood clot so that you can heal properly. This formation can take up to a week to occur.

When you drink alcohol, it thins your blood, potentially making you bleed more after tooth extraction. This can prevent your blood cells from bonding and forming a clot.

So, if the blood can’t clot, or your clot becomes dislodged, you could end up with dry socket. Dry socket causes extreme pain.

It also exposes the nerves and bones of your socket, which could lead to an infection in your mouth. Both of these will require you to head back over to your dentist's office — ASAP.

Not only does alcohol thin your blood, but it can also dehydrate you. Staying hydrated after your procedure is important for a healthy and speedy recovery.

Pain medicine

Another issue with drinking alcohol after your tooth surgery is the combination of medication and alcohol. It’s common for dentists to either prescribe painkillers or recommend over-the-counter pain medications to provide some comfort and relief from pain after your surgery.

Regardless of whether they are prescription or over-the-counter, mixing those medications with alcohol can be dangerous. It can have some serious effects on your body, including liver failure, impaired motor function, and dizziness.

Ideally, you should wait to finish all your painkillers before you have any alcoholic drinks. Give your body time to rest and recuperate before you decide to start enjoying a drink.

When can I drink alcohol after a tooth extraction?

drinking after tooth extraction
You might not heal properly if you drink

Most dentists recommend that you avoid alcoholic drinks after your tooth extraction for at least 72 hours, but longer is even better. In general, it’s advised to avoid alcohol for 7 to 10 days.

Waiting this amount of time gives the extraction site in your mouth the opportunity to heal post-surgery. This gives time for the blood clot to completely form over the site in your mouth.

It’s best to drink water during this time instead of alcohol. This will help your body stay hydrated, which ultimately helps you heal and have a faster recovery.

Remember to avoid drinking water from a straw, though. Doing so can dislodge the blood clot — resulting in dry socket and potential infection. This can severely impede your healing process.

Is drinking beer different than drinking liquor after a tooth extraction?

It may seem like a beer is a lot different than liquor, particularly because one is much stronger. But when it comes to having one or the other after your surgery, it may not really matter.

Because all alcohol thins your blood and can dehydrate you, there is no real difference in the type of alcohol your drink. Whether it's a beer, a glass of wine, or a cocktail, it could all lead to a slower recovery.

Your primary objective immediately following your procedure is to take your dentist’s advice and take care of your body.

This means getting ample rest, making sure to eat a diet of soft foods, and staying hydrated. Your dentist will also likely have a list of other instructions for you to follow for the 24 hours following your procedure, as well as over the next couple of weeks, including avoiding:

Conclusion

It's understandable if you want to unwind with a beer after your surgery, but your dentist will likely recommend that you wait at least 72 hours, if not 7–10 days before indulging in an alcoholic drink.

It’s important to take care of the extraction site and make sure the wound is able to completely heal and form a blood clot. Unfortunately, alcohol can interfere with this process.

If the blood clot doesn’t form or you dislodge it and develop dry socket, you will not only have more pain but also a longer healing process.

It’s best to get as much rest as you can and opt for water until your dentist gives you the green light for alcohol.

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Contributors:
Natalie Asmussen
Natalie Asmussen
Natalie Asmussen on LinkedinNatalie Asmussen on Website
Natalie used to work as a Community Health Worker and Health Insurance Navigator. She continues to follow her passion for connecting people with the healthcare they need by writing informative content about dentistry and medicine.