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When Can I Eat Again After a Tooth Extraction?

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Unfortunately, there are times where a tooth cannot be saved and it must be extracted. While permanent teeth are meant to last a lifetime, there are many reasons why tooth extraction may be required. At Allred Dental in San Marcos, CA, Dr. Jeffrey Allred can thoroughly examine a patient’s teeth and gums to determine if they need an extraction. Our goal is to provide superior dental care that benefits a patient’s future and their overall health.

Reasons why tooth extraction is needed

There are many reasons why an extraction may be needed, including:

  • Badly damaged tooth: This can be caused by tooth decay or trauma.

  • Crowded mouth: When there isn’t enough room for teeth to erupt, it could lead to impacted wisdom teeth.

  • Infection: If there is damage or tooth decay that extends into the pulp, the center of the tooth with nerves and blood vessels, then bacteria can get inside, causing an infection. A root canal is the best option here, but when an infection becomes too severe, an extraction may be necessary. Also, if a patient’s immune system is compromised (whether from an organ transplant or chemotherapy), any risk of infection may be reason enough for Dr. Allred to pull a tooth.

How does tooth extraction work?

Dr. Allred performs tooth extractions in his San Marcos, CA office. Before pulling the tooth, local anesthesia is given to numb the area. If the tooth is impacted, gum and bone tissue that covers the tooth will be cut away. He will grasp the tooth and rock it back and forth to gently loosen it from the jaw. If this doesn’t work, it may need to be extracted in several pieces. Once the tooth is extracted, a blood clot usually forms inside the socket. A gauze pad is placed there that the patient will bite on to stop the bleeding. Sometimes, a few stitches will be needed to close the gum edges. Next, our professional team at Allred Dental will give you post-op instructions on recovery, including what to eat after a tooth has been removed.

How soon can I eat after tooth removal?

Immediately after tooth extraction and during recovery, you will need to eat only soft and liquid foods. You won’t have to chew these foods, which limits your pain. Avoid eating harder foods as they can get trapped in the open socket. Some examples of foods that you can eat immediately following tooth extraction include:

  • Smoothies

  • Yogurt

  • Applesauce

  • Blended soups or broths

  • Mashed potatoes

  • Pudding

  • Ice cream

  • Jell-O

For the first 24 to 48 hours, only eat liquids and soft foods. Avoid alcohol, acidic, and spicy foods, including citrus juice, grains or seeds. Additionally, avoid hard-to-chew foods, such as chips or nuts until the extraction site is healed properly. You should also avoid smoking for at least three full days following your extraction as it increases your risk of dry socket, a painful situation where your blood clot fails to develop or dislodges during the healing process.

As you continue to recover, you will be able to slowly re-incorporate some normal foods into your routine. This can be attempted on day three. Start off with semisoft foods, such as instant oatmeal, toast, and scrambled eggs before moving on to solid foods, like chicken, vegetables, and fruit. Continue to increase your foods if you’re not experiencing pain when chewing. Most of our patients in San Marcos, CA can resume normal eating in a week.

Learn more about how to effectively heal following an extraction

If tooth pain is affecting your health, Dr. Jeffrey Allred at Allred Dental can examine your teeth and gums to determine if you need a tooth extraction. He uses the latest dental techniques to remove teeth with as little discomfort as possible. His goal is to restore your oral health and to give you the professional advice needed on recovery topics, such as what to eat after tooth removal. Save your smile and your oral health by making an appointment with our professional team at our San Marcos, CA office.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.