Wisdom tooth removal. It’s not fun.

When I had mine taken out, it wasn’t pretty. I was under local anesthesia but fully awake, and there was a lot of drilling involved. It was mildly traumatizing, to say the least. But once I was back at home, nursing my sore face and gearing up for work, a critical question popped up: can I still drink coffee?

So our team here at A Great Coffee looked it up: can you drink coffee after wisdom teeth removal?

With thorough research, we’ve compiled this honest guide to helping you enjoy your daily cup of Joe after the dentist has had a go at your most intelligent molars. We’ve got some great tips for a quick recovery too, so life—and your coffee-drinking habits—can go back to normal.

Wisdom Teeth Removal & Recovery

Before getting into the coffee question, let’s take a quick look at what you can expect from wisdom teeth removal.

Why Wisdom Teeth Have To Go

According to WebMD, your dentist or orthodontist could have any of the following reasons to recommend wisdom teeth removal:

  • Your mouth doesn’t have enough space for them.
  • They aren’t coming in normally or they’re getting stuck.
  • They are pushing against the rest of your teeth.
  • You won’t be able to clean them properly to prevent cavities or gum disease.

If such is the case for you, the verdict is in: time to book an appointment with your oral surgeon.

Preparing For And Undergoing Oral Surgery

coffee after wisdom teeth removal

Here is some information on oral surgery compiled from various dentistry pages.

Before the procedure, you’ll meet your surgeon. This is a good opportunity to ask questions and discuss things particular to your health. (You can tell your doctor about unique health conditions and get his or her first-hand advice on the big coffee question too.)

To sedate you during surgery, different kinds of anesthesia can be used.

  • Numbing injection: Novocaine is injected into your gums to numb the area.
  • Nitrous oxide: You inhale laughing gas to help you relax or possibly fall asleep.
  • IV sedation: You are given medicine through a vein in your arm to become drowsy.
  • General anesthesia: You are given drugs that put you to sleep for the entire surgery.

Ask your surgeon what kind of anesthesia will be used on you, as it may factor in later when it comes to post-operative java sipping.

General anesthesia will probably leave you feeling very sleepy, so make sure you’ve worked out a ride home. When you get back, it’s recommended to take advantage of your drowsiness. Catch some z’s to help your body recover.

Tips for Recovery

Here are a few general tips to aid in a smooth recovery, which usually takes about 2 weeks.

  • Use an icepack. This will help reduce swelling and discoloration.
  • Rest. Being physically active in the first 24 hours can increase pain and swelling.
  • Chew carefully. Your mouth can stay numb for up to 12 hours after wisdom teeth removal. Before eating, exercise your jaw a bit. To dodge the risk of biting your lip, don’t eat any hard foods or meals that require a lot of chewing.
  • Brush carefully. Don’t brush your teeth until the day after surgery. When you do, avoid touching the wound. It’s important to keep the blood clots intact.
  • Avoid sweet, spicy, and acidic foods and drinks. Sugar is not good for your body while recovering. Spicy and acidic foods can irritate your mouth.
  • Stay hydrated. Drink lots of water and other hydrating beverages.
  • No hot beverages. Don’t drink anything that could burn your mouth, especially while it’s numb. Stay away from hot beverages during recovery to avoid loosening blood clots.
  • Don’t drink with a straw. Sucking through a straw can also dislodge clots.
  • Don’t smoke. Smoking can expose the wound to bacteria.

What To Know About Coffee After Oral Surgery

So, can you drink coffee after wisdom teeth removal?

Yes, you can! Though the recovery tips we’ve covered raise a few potential red flags, coffee is not off the menu. If you want to brew your coffee after surgery and drink it too, here are the most important things to consider:

No Hot Beverages

When it comes to coffee after surgery, the most important thing is that it’s not hot.

Immediately after the surgery, your mouth will be numb. If you try to sip a hot cup of coffee, you might risk burning yourself. More importantly, hot drinks can dislodge blood clots, which are essential for healing.

In truth, it’s probably best to avoid coffee entirely on the first day so you can rest. When you are ready for the first cup, have it on ice or let it cool to a lukewarm temperature—depending on what your tastebuds prefer.

Avoid Sweets

It’s no surprise that dentists will discourage you from giving in to your sweet tooth. We all know that sugar causes cavities and damages our teeth. But when it comes to recovering from oral surgery, there is another reason to say no to that sugary sweet mocha or caramel macchiato.

An excess of sugar hinders bacteria-fighting cells. Keep your immune system strong after surgery by keeping sweets to a minimum: your recovering body will thank you.

If you can’t imagine coffee without sugar, you can sweeten your brew naturally instead.

Is Coffee Dehydrating?

What we’ve gathered so far is that coffee is OK, as long as it’s not hot or sweetened.

So why do oral surgeons recommend drinking plenty of fluids but staying from coffee?

You might think it’s because coffee is known to be diuretic and to have a dehydrating effect.

Interestingly enough, this idea dates back to a study from 1928. However, in 2015, the myth was debunked. A new study has shown that coffee is in fact not dehydrating, though it did have the least hydrating effect of all beverages in the study.

That’s good news! You can now sip your coffee with the assurance that, even if you’re not giving your body much hydration, at least you’re not taking it away. When it comes to recovering from wisdom tooth extraction, just make sure you’re getting plenty of hydration from other sources as well. Natural juices, coconut water, and just regular water are great options.

Avoid Acidic Drinks

Though we now know that coffee is not a diuretic, it is slightly acidic. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it is helpful to understand how it affects our teeth and oral health. Especially after surgery.

The main reason to avoid acidic food and drinks after surgery is that they can irritate your mouth. However, coffee is even less acidic than tomato sauce so reasonable amounts shouldn’t cause much disturbance in that area.

Beyond that, acid can cause tooth enamel erosion. If you’re a big coffee drinker, it’s probably worth learning how to protect your enamel.

  • Turn down the caffeine boost in favor of rest.
  • Return to normal but stay mindful of scalding temperatures and take it easy on the sugar.

How To Have Your Brew And Drink It Too

In summary, here is an example of how you can enjoy coffee after wisdom teeth removal.

  • The First day: Resist the temptation for the first 24 hours. Turn down the caffeine boost in favor of rest and recovery.
  • The Second day: The day after surgery, treat yourself to an iced latte with stevia instead of sugar. Remember, no straw!
  • The First week: Stick to sipping naturally sweetened iced or lukewarm coffee. Make it interesting by experimenting more with cold brews. Don’t forget to stay hydrated with other healthy beverages as well.
  • The Second week: Start going back to your normal coffee-drinking habits. Or keep exploring new ones!

Whatever you choose, make sure to savor it. Feel free to share your experience in the comments below.


Sources:

WebMD: Wisdom Teeth Removal—What Adults Should Expect

Tender Care Dental: Tips for Wisdom Teeth Extraction

Dental Heights: Tips for Recovering From Wisdom Teeth Removal

Dr. Alijanian: Drinking After Oral Surgery

Colgate: What To Eat After Tooth Extraction

Spencer L. Perron
 

Spencer L. Perron is currently employed as sub-editor of A Great Coffee, specializing as a copywriter, public relations manager, and branding specialist. He obtained a degree in English with creative writing emphasis from the University of Kansas and have a history of writing and editing website copy, press releases, advertising campaigns, and creative fiction. In addition, he is also a biker, foodie and a soccer fan.

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