Tooth extraction, be it wisdom or any other, is the last resort for dentists, and they go for it when there is no chance of saving it, or retention might do more harm than good. Whatever the reason, once it’s done, you must abide by some dos and don’ts to recover. Eating restrictions during healing is one of the main things to look after. If you like to chew gum, don’t do it after wisdom teeth removal for at least 2 weeks.
Why Should You Not Chew Gum After Wisdom Teeth Removal?
Sedatives are used for wisdom teeth removal, making this procedure virtually painless. All you may feel is slight pressure and nothing more due to numbness of the gums. This sense of no pain might make you think it is okay to chew gum after your wisdom tooth extraction, but it is not.
Chewing anything right after the wisdom teeth removal surgery can significantly disrupt the extraction site, increasing the healing time. Some of the common issues you might have to face due to chewing gum after wisdom tooth extraction:
Displacement of the Blood Clot
Formation of the fragile blood clot in the site of extraction marks the first stage of healing. They look like a wet, red scab that covers the toothless area. If you chew on foods like chewing gum, it will dislodge that blood clot from its place. This situation is excruciatingly painful and discomforting, known as a dry socket.
Increased Chances of Infection
As you know, gum is sticky and has more chances of getting stuck into empty spaces in your mouth. No matter how hard you try, some residue will always be left behind, even if you successfully take it out without damaging the delicate blood clot. This debris serves as a breeding ground for the infection-causing bacteria.
More often than not, healthcare providers prescribe medications and care guidelines; however, you still have the chance to develop infections after you chew gum early after wisdom teeth removal.
Infection presents itself with the following symptoms:
- Severe on-going bleeding
- Pus-like fluids oozing out of the extraction site
- High- fever
It is common for your jaw muscles to stiffen up or stay numb for a few days after wisdom teeth removal. It is best to wait and gain the sensation of gums back. However, if you start chewing gum before that, it will put unnecessary pressure on the extraction site, which can make the stitches fall out prematurely.
Can You Safely Chew Gum After Wisdom Teeth Removal?
You can start chewing gum once your mouth fully recovers from wisdom teeth removal. However, stay cautious and follow these simple guidelines to get back on track:
- Do not forget to bring your dentist on board before you start chewing gum. They check whether or not your stitches have healed and wave a green flag.
- It is best to use sugar-free gum that reduces the chances of bacterial build-up or cavity development.
- You would want to start chewing slowly in small bites since vigorous activity will put pressure on your jaw and may trigger pain.
- Steer clear of chewing for extended periods even after you are given a go to chew gum after your wisdom teeth removal surgery.
- In case you see any bleeding or sudden change in taste like metal in your mouth, call your doctor immediately.
What Else Should I Avoid Eating After Wisdom Teeth Extraction?
Other than gum, there are many edibles that you must not eat after wisdom tooth extraction:
Foods That Are Sticky or Chewy
If you start eating items like sweet taffy, gummies, and candies, they will exert pressure on your gums, resulting in pain or discomfort. You must be meticulous with your food choices and stay away from such items for the first few days. Some food items you should not chew are:
- Caramel pizza
- Beef jerky
- Tough meat
Any Hard Food
It is best to exclude hard foods from your diet for the time being. Some of the common items that must not make it to your list:
- Uncooked rice
- Popcorn kernels
Acidic or Sugar-loaded Drinks
Drinks that are high in sugar and carbonated beverages like soda, orange juice, and alcohol should be avoided after wisdom teeth removal surgery.
So, What Can You Eat After Wisdom Teeth Removal?
We understand you might be thinking, if almost everything is off the list, can you eat anything at all? Yes, you can eat foods that are easy to chew after wisdom teeth removal.
- Try Semi Solid Food
You can delve into delicacies like smoothies, soup, broth, milkshakes, and pudding within the first few days. They are less likely to cause trouble in your mouth and are soft and easy to chew.
- Soft, Solid Edible Items
As soon as your gums start feeling better and you are well into the latter phase of recovery, you may ask your dentist to start eating soft solids such as pureed vegetables, scrambled eggs, ice cream, oatmeal, etc.Tooth extraction does not mean you cannot delve into some protein goodness. Soft food such as salmon, tuna, well-done beef, or chicken are good to go. They are high in nutrition and will aid in your ride to recovery.
After your gums fully heal from tooth extraction, you can chew normally and incorporate solid food into your diet. Options like pizza and soft bread are good places to start. However, do get permission from your dentist before making this turn in your diet.
It is essential to not chew food like gum after wisdom teeth removal to prevent complications like infection, pain, dislodged blood clots, etc. Wait for your dentist’s signal to start eating normally after tooth extraction. If you have more questions regarding oral surgeries that take place here, get in touch with Dr. Amjad Sheikh at Trinity Dental Centers, who has more than 20 years of experience in the field. He and his team are just a call away to guide you through all your dental needs. Dial (281) 724-4510 to connect with us.