Drinking Soda After Wisdom Teeth Removal – Yea or Nay?

Hand written by Dr David Chen, an actively practicing dentist and avid writer. #doctorswrite

Can you already guess what our answer is going to be? You know that dentists don’t like soda even if you didn’t get your wisdom teeth extracted right?

soda fizzling

The truth is you really shouldn’t be drinking any soda after having your wisdom teeth extraction. Simply put, the sugary beverage offers you zero benefits and can wreak havoc on your teeth. But, do you know what the worse part of it is? It can even delay the healing process.

Adverse effects of drinking soda after wisdom teeth removal

There is absolutely no benefit to drinking soda after taking out your wisdom teeth. It does nothing to help you heal faster but what it will do is cause cavities and put you at risk for bleeding.

Bleeding risk

Drinking soda after wisdom teeth removal can impede the blood clotting process because it is very acidic. The acidity of it may result in an increase in blood clotting time and a decrease in the clot’s firmness. That means you are at an increased risk for bleeding since it takes longer to clot and the clot is not as stable!

Research studies have shown that a mild increase in acidity from a pH of 7.4 to 7.0 can result in a staggering 25% difference in clotting.

  • A 25% increase in time to form a blood clot.
  • A 25% reduction in blood clot firmness.

That small 0.4 change in pH resulted in big changes to the clotting process. Now the kicker is that soda will drop the pH in your mouth to much more than that. According to the Royal Society of Chemistry, the pH of a can of Coca Cola is 2.6-2.7! That is significantly more acidic than the neutral pH of 7.

We would like to remind you that pH is on a logarithmic scale so the effects would be exponentiated. How much does it impede the clotting? We don’t know but it is certainly more than the 25% change that is listed above. We leave it to your imagination.

Tooth decay

Just because you had your wisdom teeth removed, it doesn’t make you immune to tooth decay. In fact, it puts you at greater risk for getting a cavity because your oral hygiene is most likely compromised while you’re healing.

You’re excused from brushing on the day of.

Taking out the wisdom teeth is a surgical procedure and the entire extraction site will be incredibly tender. The recommendation is to avoid the area or to even skip brushing all together that night. It is better if you simply resumed brushing on the morning after.

What that means is if you’ve been drinking soda all day, it could potentially form a cavity. Well you won’t get a cavity on the wisdom tooth that was taken out but your other teeth can get it.

You’re not brushing and flossing as well.

The extraction site will take time to heal. It will not be the most comfortable to brush and floss close to the area. Since you’re not cleaning as well, it means that you have an increased risk for cavities if you’re drinking soda.

When is it safe to drink soda after wisdom teeth extraction?

The recommendation is to wait 72 hours before you drink soda again after having your wisdom teeth removed. The reason is because that is the most critical healing period and you don’t want to interfere with it. Two very important things occur during those 72 hours.

  • Blood clot stabilization. The first 24 hours is incredibly important to the stabilization of a blood clot. Before it matures, it can easily be dislodged with pressure from spitting, rinsing, and drinking through a straw. If the clot comes out you will have persistent bleeding. As you now know, the acidity from soda can interfere with the clotting!
  • Wait for the worse pain to pass. After surgically extracting the wisdom teeth, pain typically peaks after 48-72 hours. During that time it is probably not the most comfortable for you to be brushing, flossing, and mouth rinsing. It means that your oral hygiene is compromised and you’re at increased risk for tooth decay.

After 72 hours (3 days) you should no longer be at a bleeding risk and you should be able to resume your oral hygiene regime. There is really nothing stopping you from brushing and flossing as you usually do at that point. Now if you wanted to drink soda at that point you can at least decrease the chances of getting cavities since you can brush normally!

An alternative to soda

In our opinion, instead of drinking soda you should have plain water instead. There is no sugar in it so you won’t be at risk for tooth decay. You can drink as much of it as you want if you’re thirsty.

Last but not least, this may not be a drink but chicken noodle soup will help you recovery much better than soda would. It is at least nutritious with vegetables and proteins in it. Your body is going to need all the nutrients that it can get to heal the wisdom tooth hole. The bone needs to fill it and the gums need to close over.

Takeaway

You should wait at least 3 days (72 hours) before you drink soda after getting your wisdom teeth removed. Having soda too soon can impede the blood clotting process and put you at risk for continued bleeding.

Don’t forget that after the surgery, you have to bite down on gauze for three hours just to get the bleeding to stop. Are you trying to undo all of your efforts by having soda? That doesn’t seem like a wise choice.

Last but not least, don’t forget that you can still get cavities. You’re most likely not brushing as well after the surgery so that actually puts you at a higher risk for it!

Hopefully that answers all of the questions on whether or not you can have soda after getting the third molars out. You should really review all of the dos and don’ts of wisdom teeth extraction aftercare.

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The purpose of the content at afterva is to encourage you to seek in person care with a doctor. It's not nor was it ever meant to be a substitute for medical advice. Every situation is unique and impossible to diagnose without a clinical exam.

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