Why No Dairy After Tooth Extraction

why no dairy after tooth extraction

Why No Dairy After Tooth Extraction

There’s conflicting advice from country to country about whether you should or shouldn’t eat dairy products after tooth extraction; some claim it can impede the healing of the wound, while others claim the calcium content is good for healing. So where does the confusion come from? We’ll explain why you should avoid dairy products after having your tooth extracted in the UK and what you should eat instead for the first few days following your dental procedure.

What Is Tooth Extraction?

Tooth extraction is a common dental procedure that requires removing a tooth that is causing pain or harm to your oral health. It’s usually a last resort, however, there are many reasons that people may need to have a tooth removed, including:

  • Tooth decay that has spread to the root of the tooth and gum
  • A broken tooth that cannot be repaired and is unsafe to keep
  • An abscess or tooth infection around a tooth
  • Wisdom teeth coming through where there is no room, growing at an angle or causing pain

Tooth extraction is an invasive and unpleasant procedure so it’s best to look after your teeth well and have regular dental check-ups to avoid having to have a tooth removed. Abscesses and infections in our mouths and jaws can be potentially life-threatening if not dealt with promptly due to the proximity to the brain increasing the chances of an infection spreading and becoming fatal. So, even if you have a fear of dentists, you should get your teeth checked regularly, especially if you experience pain in your mouth or when you chew.

However, many of us will have or have had wisdom teeth that need removal to avoid putting pressure on our other teeth, so most of us will have a tooth extraction in our lifetimes. The best thing you can do is simply reduce your need to have teeth removed by looking after them well.

What Is Tooth Extraction?

What Happens After Your Tooth Is Extracted?

Once your tooth has been extracted, your dentist will place a swab, often gauze, over your wound which you should bite firmly down on for up to an hour to stop the wound from bleeding. You are then required to remove the swab so that a blood clot can form and the wound can begin its healing process.

You’ll thus be told not to rinse your mouth for 24 hours to avoid removing the blood clot and causing further bleeding. You can resume normal mouthwash use (twice a day after brushing your teeth) after 48-72 hours depending on how well the wound is healing. Patients are also advised to stop smoking for at least 72 hours as the nicotine content can prevent the wound from healing too.

Once your tooth is removed, you can discuss dental implants, dentures or veneers to cover the gap in your teeth with your dentist, however, you won’t be able to have a dental implant until at least 10 weeks after your tooth extraction.

What Happens After Your Tooth Is Extracted?

Foods to Avoid After Tooth Extraction

If you’ve had an anaesthetic, you’re free to eat again once it has worn off, however, there are several foods and drinks you should avoid after having such an invasive dental procedure as a tooth extraction, as they can cause bleeding, infections or disrupt the healing of the wound.

For the first three days after your tooth extraction, you should avoid:

  • Tea
  • Coffee
  • Alcohol
  • Fizzy drinks
  • Energy drinks
  • Dairy products (e.g. milk, cheese, yoghurt, milk puddings, ice cream, butter)
  • Crumbly foods (e.g. cereals, nuts, seeds, crisps)
  • Spicy foods
  • Acidic foods

Caffeine and alcohol can cause the wound to bleed after tooth extraction so should be avoided at all costs, while acidic food and drink, spicy food and hot (heat) food and drink can greatly irritate the wound and prevent it from healing as it should. Crumbly foods can get stuck in the gap left by the tooth so they can cause great irritation and even infections so should be avoided at all costs. Although rice can be soft, it’s small and can get stuck so should also not be eaten.

Dairy products should also be avoided after tooth extraction in the UK, but not necessarily in other countries, as they can cause inflammation in the wound. But why is that?

Why Avoid Dairy After Tooth Extraction?

Evidence suggests that the recommendation to avoid dairy products after a tooth extraction comes from Germany hundreds of years ago, as dairy products (specifically raw milk products) may have caused tuberculosis. Now that most dairy products are pasteurised (except some fresh milk directly from farms), there is very little risk of contracting tuberculosis from milk in the UK, however, the health advice remains in place.

Milk sold in the UK is usually fresh milk – it has been pasteurised but it isn’t long-lasting – as opposed to other countries, like the USA which treat their milk with ultra-high heat (UHT) to kill any bacteria within it and allow the milk to stay drinkable for longer. That’s why you may read online on American websites that there’s no need to avoid dairy products, however, as the milk in the UK contains lactic acid bacteria, you should avoid consuming dairy after tooth extraction to avoid contracting an infection or causing any inflammation of the cavity.

It’s also believed that milk can prevent some antibiotics from working that you may be given after a tooth extraction, or that it negatively interacts with stitches, although there is little evidence to support these claims.

Foods to Avoid After Tooth Extraction

What Is it Safe to Consume After a Tooth Extraction?

So, avoiding alcohol and crunchy, crumbly, spicy, hot, acidic or dairy-based foods may seem pretty boring and as though there’s not a lot left for you to eat… But don’t worry. Once you’ve had your tooth extracted, your cavity and the side of your mouth the tooth was removed from will be very sensitive, so you won’t want to eat much anyway. Therefore, after having a tooth removed, you should stick to soft foods to avoid chewing, which may be painful or reopen the wound.

The best foods to eat after a tooth extraction include:

  • Water
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Mashed potato
  • Soup
  • Soft bread with no crust
  • Boiled soft vegetables
  • Mashed beans
  • Stewed spinach
  • Soft, seedless fruits

Not only will each of these foods be easy to eat after tooth extraction without too much discomfort, but they’re also full of vitamins and minerals that will help your body heal after the procedure.

What Is it Safe to Consume After a Tooth Extraction?

Where to Get a Tooth Extracted in Manchester

Sometimes your tooth pain can start gently and get increasingly worse over a long period of time, while for others, extreme pain can start instantly. Whatever the reason for your tooth extraction, it’s crucial to have the offending tooth removed as soon as possible to stop a knock-on effect on your other teeth or cause an infection that may spread elsewhere in your mouth, blood or brain.

Fortunately, if you’re in the Manchester area, Didsbury Dental Practice is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, so anyone can have affordable emergency dental treatment, including having problem teeth removed. New patients can sign up and have a check-up so they know about their oral health and any necessary treatments can be arranged. Our tooth extractions cost just £280. What’s more, you can contact us at any time of day, any day of the week, to stay on top of your dental health and ask us any questions you might have.

Whether it’s restorative dentistry you’re after, cosmetic dentistry, tooth extractions or general check-ups, our private dental practice can help you with all your dental needs.

Book Your Dental Appointment Today

Don’t waste any more time and risk complications to your health. If you have a tooth that needs extracting or any kind of pain in your mouth, it won’t get better on its own. Book your dentist appointment today!

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