Have you recently had your wisdom teeth removed or are planning to get them extracted soon? If so, you may be wondering what types of foods you can eat during your recovery.
While it’s important to stick to soft, nutritious foods that won’t disturb the surgical site, some people may be tempted to return to their original diet and consume spicy food. But is it safe to eat spicy food after wisdom teeth removal, and how soon after your surgery can you consume it?
As a rule of thumb, you can progress back to your diet and have spicy food 3 to 7 days after having your wisdom teeth removed. This provides sufficient time for your wound to heal.
Now you may wonder, why is there a need to abstain from spicy food after wisdom teeth removal and should I look out for when returning to my original diet?
In the rest of this article, we will explore this common question and provide you with some helpful tips on what to eat and what to avoid during your recovery. So, whether you’re a spice lover or simply looking for some guidance on post-operative care, keep reading to learn more.
Abstaining from Spicy Food
There are several reasons why you should not eat spicy food immediately after having your wisdom teeth removed.
The first three days after the surgery is crucial for recovery as the extraction site is sensitive and the blood clot has yet to fully formed in the hole where the removed wisdom tooth was. During this period, it is important that one abstains from food and drink that may irritate the wound and delay healing.
Very often, spicy food are cooked with ingredients that have a higher acidity. Not only that, spices such as paprika, cayenne pepper, and chilli flakes will irritate the wound but also leave you with a burning sensation. In some cases, an infection may occur in the wound, making a trip to your dentist or oral surgeon necessary. As such, it is advised that you avoid spicy food until you are sure that your wound has fully healed.
On the other hand, having hard or crunchy food runs the risks of dislodging the newly formed blood clot, causing dry socket. Dry socket is a painful complication where the bones and nerves are exposed to the elements in the mouth. While this happens to only 2% to 5% of the people who had their teeth removed, it largely occur among those who did not stick to a soft diet during the first few days of their post-surgery care.
What to Look Out For
For those who love spicy food, the thought of having to go without their favorite spicy dishes for an extended period of time can make you feel frustrated.
After resting for a couple days, you may have felt that your wound has healed sufficiently and that you are able to have spicy food. However, you should consider:
- Has the swelling gone down?
- Is the blood clot in the surgical site fully formed?
- Do you still feel pain in the surgical site?
- Do you feel pain when consuming a hot drink or soup?
If your reply to the above questions are YES, then you should stick to your soft food diet and abstain from any spicy food. During the recovery period, stick to a liquid or soft food diet. Examples include mash potatoes, scrambled eggs, broths, soft pasta, rice, applesauce, and ground meat.
When the pain and swelling has subsided, it may be time for you to slowly progress back to your diet. Start by experimenting with small pieces of spicy food to see how your wound reacts to it. If you experience any form of pain or discomfort, then it is likely that your wounds have not fully healed.
While it is said that you can have spicy food a week after having your wisdom teeth removed, it is important to know that everyone heals at a different pace. Some may have healed within the first three days after the surgery while others may take two to three weeks to fully recover. If you have any concerns about the recovery of your wound, always consult your dentist or oral surgeon who are able to provide a professional advice and recommend the next course of action.
In conclusion, while it may be tempting to indulge in spicy foods after wisdom teeth removal, it is generally recommended that you have it a week after the surgery. Spicy foods can cause irritation and inflammation in the sensitive tissues and the extraction sites, leading to discomfort and delayed healing. In some cases, it can lead to a dry socket and an infection of the wound.
When you feel that your wound has fully healed, slowly incorporate mild spices into your diet. Always seek advice from our dentist or oral surgeon if you have any concerns regarding the recovery of your wound. Remember, taking proper care of your oral health is essential for a quick and comfortable recovery after any dental procedure.