Does Pineapple Juice Help With Wisdom Teeth After Surgery?

Pineapple Juice | Source: Dwell by Michelle

Our mouths are home to many essential teeth, including the third set of molars that develop in our early adulthood. Also known as the wisdom tooth, it has plagued countless people due to the pain and dental problems it has caused. As such, many have opted to have it removed either to eliminate the problem or as as a preventive measure.

Most of us have probably heard the horror stories of the swelling and pain after the surgery. But what if there was a natural solution to alleviate the discomfort and promote healing?

In late 2021, a Tiktok video went viral after claiming to have found the ‘secret’ to alleviating your pain after your wisdom tooth extraction. In the video, the user asserted that drinking approximately 64oz (1.8 litres) of pineapple juice prior the surgery can help to reduce pain and swelling, thereby speeding up the recovery process.

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Since the release of the Tiktok video, thousands of people have tried out the method. Many have attested to the viral claim, saying that drinking large amount of pineapple juice have indeed minimize swelling. In several of the before and after surgery videos and selfies, Tiktokers appeared to have reduced the swelling significantly.

So the million dollar question is, does pineapple juice help with wisdom teeth removal after the surgery?

Surprisingly, the answer is a big YES. However, the benefits that pineapple juice brings are very limited.

Benefits of Pineapple Juice

Pineapple juice is a rich source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, vitamin B1, vitamin B6, and manganese. It also contains important enzymes that can aid in digestion and reduce inflammation. Some potential benefits of drinking pineapple juice include:

  • Boosting the immune system: Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps to protect the body against infection and disease.
  • Improving digestion: Pineapple juice contains bromelain, an enzyme that can help to break down proteins and reduce inflammation in the gut.
  • Easing joint pain: Bromelain may also help to reduce inflammation and ease pain in the joints.
  • Promoting healthy skin: Vitamin C helps to protect the skin from damage and may promote the production of collagen, which helps to keep the skin looking youthful.
  • Aiding in weight loss: Pineapple juice is low in calories and may help to suppress appetite, which can aid in weight loss.

Given the numerous benefits that pineapple offers, one may confer it as a super fruit. However, consumption of pineapple juice should be in moderation. Consuming too much can lead to complications such as diarrhea, abdominal pain, and increased heart rate. As a rule of thumb, limit your daily intake of pineapple juice to no more than 8 oz (230ml) a day.

It is also important to note that commercially sold pineapple juice may contain large amounts of sugar. For instance, a 8.4 oz can of Dole 100% Pineapple Juice alone contains 30 grams of sugar. 64 oz of pineapple juice would set you back more than 240 grams of sugar; this is over 9 times the recommended sugar daily intake by American Heart Association for women, and 6 times more for men.

To consumption of large amount of sugar will inadvertently aid the formation of plaque. When the plaque is not promptly removed, it will damage the tooth enamel and cause cavities.

Minimizing Pain and Swelling with Bromelain

So how does drinking pineapple juice reduce swelling and pain after the wisdom tooth surgery?

The viral claim is largely attributed to a proteolytic enzyme known as bromelain. Found specifically in pineapples, bromelain has been widely promoted for its anti-inflammatory and digestive properties.

Some small studies demonstrating” an anti-inflammatory effect from bromelain supplements, but said that at the same there have been studies “showing no effects.”

Renown Dietitian Samantha Cassetty

In fact, pineapple has been used in Central American Indigenous cultures for centuries to treat conditions relating to indigestion and inflammation. Today, bromelain, mostly sold in the form of supplements and cream, have been used to treat an variety of conditions including sinus swelling, inflammation, minor burn injuries, arthritis, and poor digestion.

You may be interested in: Does Wisdom Teeth Removal Hurt at All?

In a small-scale study conducted on 40 patients, 28 (70%) of them reported a reduction in swelling and pain after consuming bromelain tablets for up to a week. That said, there are insufficient scientific studies done on bromelain to conclude and credit the enzyme with its purported medical benefits, including the minimizing of pain and swelling after wisdom tooth surgery.

To reduce pain and swelling after wisdom tooth surgery, most doctors would prescribe painkillers such as Ibuprofen and recommend patients to apply ice packs for the first 24 hours. Antibiotics are also prescribed to reduce the risk of an infection albeit it is optional in most cases.

So, Should I Drink Pineapple Juice?

To conclude, there is some evidence to suggest that pineapple may help with your post-surgery recovery, and this is largely attributed to the presence of bromelain in the fruit. However, more research is needed to confirm the effectiveness of using pineapple juice or bromelain supplements specifically for reducing swelling after wisdom teeth surgery.

Even if pineapple juice help with reducing any pain and swelling after your wisdom tooth surgery, the method of chugging down 64 oz of the drink is rather impractical; you are better off purchasing bromelain supplements from your local pharmacy as it is this enzyme that works the wonder. In any case, always consult your dentist or oral surgeon as they are able to offer their expert opinion and guide you in your recovery after the surgery.