All types of tooth surgery would need extra aftercare and precautions. This is to prevent any damages to the treated area and to help the gums and teeth in the recovery process. If you underwent a tooth extraction surgery, one of the first few questions that you will have in mind is “What can I eat after tooth extraction?”. While it’s imperative to follow your surgeon’s advice, it would also be wiser to do some research to widen your knowledge.
Reasons for Tooth Extraction
Before we proceed to the aftercare and the list of soft foods that you can eat after tooth extraction, let us first find out why it’s necessary. Tooth extraction is often the last option for dentists. Most of the time, they would try to resolve the dental problem with alternative solutions before concluding with a tooth extraction. If the prior treatments did not work out, a tooth extraction surgery might be recommended. Here are the possible causes of tooth extraction:
Impacted tooth. Impacted tooth refers to the tooth that did not make it through the gum line. There are plenty of reasons why an impacted tooth occurs, a wisdom tooth is usually impacted because the jaw does not have enough space to take in the new tooth.
Crowded teeth. Children and teenagers are the most common patients for teeth overcrowding. This type of oral problem deals with the excessive production of the teeth. Dentists remove the extra teeth to fix the dental aesthetics and let the patient have normal and functioning teeth.
Tooth decay. Tooth decay has become a global problem over the years. It is considered the topmost reason why tooth extraction takes place. Patients who suffer from tooth decay are often the ones who do not visit their dentist regularly. This tooth problem does not just happen overnight, it takes years before tooth decay becomes a major dental problem.
Gum disease. Neglected gum problems could lead to serious dental health issues. If the gums start to collapse, it will not be able to support the teeth that are attached to it. Over time, the gum will show visible signs of disintegration and it might be too late to save the tooth by then.
Tooth rapture. When a tooth severely breaks, may it be caused by accidents or injuries, tooth extraction may be recommended. Most especially if the damage is too extreme that tooth reattachment is no longer possible.
Foods To Eat After Tooth Extraction
You might need to follow certain aftercare procedures while you are still in the recovery process after tooth extraction. Soft foods such as mashed potatoes, soups, and smoothies are going to be your food buddies in the meantime. But we know that sometimes, soft foods cannot fully satisfy your stomachs needs, that is why we listed down below multiple food options for you to choose from:
Yogurt. Yogurt is a food that’s rich in protein and other nutrients. The amount of protein found in yogurt is high enough to help in the recovery process. According to studies, patients who consume protein after a tooth extraction heals faster than those who don’t.
Broths. Broths are rich in nutrients and vitamins. It is also a good alternative if you are having trouble drinking. Although remember to not consume this food when it’s too hot as it might irritate the treatment area.
Scrambled eggs. If you get tired of eating liquified foods all the time, you may opt for a bit more chewable soft foods like scrambled eggs. Eggs are popular for their high-protein components and other nutrients like omega 3 which is essential in the recovery process.
Bananas. Banans are easy to find and can be a good breakfast alternative. This fruit is naturally soft and is easy to chew. It also has a tender texture that will make it easier for you to swallow.
Mashed potatoes. Soft foods like mashed potato is always a go-to-food after tooth extraction surgery. Generally speaking, you will greatly benefit from eating mashed potatoes because this food is rich in calories and nutrients.
Avocados. One of the soft foods that you can eat is avocado. What makes avocado special is that it can be prepared and eaten in several ways. There are plenty of recipes that include avocado.
Oatmeal. It may not obvious, but oatmeal is a very nutritious food that’s available almost everywhere. This food is a good source of fiber and is packed with minerals and vitamins.
Smoothies. If you are on a strict diet and you wish to continue eating your usual meals, blending the foods together will be a good option. The only downside is that it probably won’t have an appetizing taste.
Soups. Soups that are made of vegetables can provide you essential vitamins while your body is still in the recovery process. Vegetable soups are rich in minerals and vitamins that you would need to recover faster. Aside from the nutritional factors, it also hydrates the body.
Salmon. Fish lovers can take advantage of their favorite food after their tooth extraction surgery. Salmon is a nutritious fish that can provide healthy fats and protein to sustain your body’s needs.
Aside from choosing the right foods to eat, your way of eating also contributes to how fast the recovery will be. Let the treated are rest and chew by using the healthy part of your teeth. Also, do not forget that hot foods can irritate the treated gums and teeth. Let your food sit for a while until it’s lukewarm before consumption.
Foods to Avoid After Tooth Extraction
Patients are advised not to consume any alcoholic beverages for at least 1 to 2 days after the surgery. This is because you will be taking anti-inflammatory drugs after the tooth extraction and alcohol can hinder its purpose. Refrain from eating hard foods for one week as the particles might aggravate the treatment area and cause complications. In order to make the recovery process effective and quick, follow the aftercare advice of your dentist.
Tooth Extraction Aftercare
The aftercare will depend on the kind of tooth surgery that was performed on you. It is a pre-requisite for dental clinics to provide a list of things to avoid and things to do after surgery to help in the recovery process. The aftercare will mostly include the following:
Take the prescribed medication
Do not remove the gauze pad after the tooth extraction. Leave it on for at least 4 hours.
Rest and avoid any extreme physical activities. This includes exercising, lifting heavy objects, and overworking.
Continue your usual oral care routine, but be extra gentle on cleaning the treatment site.
Do not use straw as it may result in a blood clot.
Use a salt solution to rinse your mouth.
Refrain from using tobacco and cigarettes.
Risk Factors of Tooth Extraction
Although tooth extraction surgery is generally executed in a safe manner, there are still several risk factors that can be associated with it. Some of these are:
Teeth misalignment. Our teeth support each other, that is why if a tooth goes missing, the remaining teeth will eventually lean towards the open space which results in teeth misalignment.
Prolonged recovery. Not following the aftercare procedures and side effects of the medication can lead to a longer healing period. If this occurs, consult your dentist immediately.
Injured nerves. The nerves that are connected to the extracted tooth might get affected as well. You might feel a tingly sensation after the surgery. If this persists, do not hesitate to ask your dentist for remedies.
Osteitis. The tooth extraction will naturally cause a blood clot which can be seen on top of the gums where the tooth was extracted from. The blood clot might get dislodged and lead to a condition called osteitis.