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If your mouth is a party, then wisdom teeth are always the last guests to arrive. It’s called wisdom because of when they typically emerge. For most folks they come in during their late teens or early twenties – a period of life that’s traditionally been associated with gaining maturity and wisdom.
While these additional molars can be useful, they can also bring about pain and discomfort as they try to find their place in the mouth. Which is why many people opt to have these troublesome teeth removed.
But wisdom teeth removal is not exactly a pleasant experience (especially if the teeth are impacted). Which is why many people look for ways to speed up the recovery process – or at the very least, reduce that post-surgery swelling and bruising.
One of the popular remedies that’s made its rounds on social media recommends drinking pineapple juice before and after wisdom teeth surgery to speed up recovery. But does pineapple juice really help with wisdom teeth? What are the benefits and risks of drinking pineapple juice before and after wisdom teeth removal? And how much pineapple juice should you drink?
Let’s take a closer look and answer these questions based on scientific evidence, instead of speculation!
Where Did This Idea Come From?
The idea that pineapple juice can help with wisdom teeth recovery is because of what it contains. Pineapples carry an enzyme called bromelain, which is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Bromelain is also a type of enzyme that can break down protein and reduce swelling and bruising.
Its potential to reduce inflammation has led some folks to consider pineapple juice as a natural home remedy to soothe the swelling and inflammation that comes after wisdom teeth surgery.
The idea really took off after users on social media including Tik Tok claimed that drinking large quantities of pineapple juice before wisdom teeth surgery resulted in a pain-free and smooth recovery. Some of these posts showed dramatic before-and-after pictures of people who drank pineapple juice and had little or no swelling compared to others who did not.
Drinking Pineapple Juice Before Wisdom Teeth Removal
Let’s face it, the anticipation leading up to that wisdom tooth procedure is often nerve-wracking. Many patients look for ways to prep themselves for the procedure, to make it as uneventful as possible.
Some advocates for natural remedies suggest drinking pineapple juice as a pre-operative measure. Consuming pineapple juice before wisdom teeth removal is thought to help prime the body by introducing bromelain, which could aid in reducing the inflammation and swelling that often occurs after the procedure.
However, it’s essential to approach this remedy with caution, as studies are mixed. While bromelain does indeed show anti-inflammatory potential, its presence in pineapple juice isn’t concentrated enough that drinking it before a surgery is enough to entirely prevent swelling after the procedure.
Drinking Pineapple Juice After Wisdom Teeth Removal
After undergoing wisdom teeth removal, maintaining a soft diet (think smoothies) and taking proper oral care are key to a smooth recovery process. The question is: should you drink pineapple juice as part of your post-op recovery plan?
As we’ve already covered, pineapple juice continues to be a topic of interest because of its potential anti-inflammatory properties. However, it’s important to note that immediately after surgery, the site that was just operated on requires gentle care to prevent complications that might slow the healing process.
Despite its anti-inflammatory properties, the acidic nature of pineapple juice could cause discomfort or irritation when it comes into contact with the surgical wounds from where your wisdom teeth were removed. It is generally recommended that acidic or spicy foods be avoided immediately after wisdom teeth surgery.
As your recovery progresses and the surgical sites begin to heal, you might consider reintroducing pineapple juice to your diet in moderation. That being said, it’s important to note that pineapple juice should not be considered a substitute for proper post-operative care. It is essential you maintain good oral hygiene, follow any dietary restrictions, and attend follow-up appointments to ensure proper healing and minimize the risk of complications.
Final Thoughts: Does Pineapple Juice Reduce Wisdom Teeth Swelling?
As mentioned earlier, pineapple contains bromelain, an enzyme known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Some studies have suggested that bromelain may help reduce swelling by inhibiting certain molecules that contribute to inflammation in the body.
However, it’s important to note that while bromelain does have anti-inflammatory properties, the amount of bromelain in a glass of pineapple juice is not enough to have a significant effect on swelling. The scientific studies that have shown positive results from bromelain used supplements or injections, not pineapple juice.
In short, if you’re looking to reap the potential benefits of bromelain, you’re going to need to consume significantly more bromelain than what pineapple juice has to offer. For this bromelain supplements will be the more feasible option.
It’s also important to keep in mind that everyone reacts to wisdom tooth pain differently, and individual responses to pineapple juice can vary! Despite what we just covered, some individuals do indeed find swelling relief from drinking pineapple juice.
Factors such as the severity of swelling, overall health, and genetic variations all influence how effective pineapple juice will be in reducing wisdom teeth-related inflammation. And as always, consult with a dentist or oral health professional before making any dietary changes in an effort to manage wisdom teeth swelling.
Bonus: Other Ways to Reduce Wisdom Teeth Swelling
In preparation for writing this article, we chatted with some dentists to get their professional take on this topic. We also took the opportunity to ask them for their expert tips on minimizing post-op wisdom teeth swelling.
Here’s what they shared:
- Ice Ice Baby: In the initial hours post-surgery, applying ice packs to the outside of your face is will go a long way. This should be carried out for the first 24 hours, with 20-minute intervals. The cold compress helps constrict blood vessels, limiting blood flow and thus reducing swelling.
- Elevate the head: Elevating your head while lying down is another excellent way to reduce swelling. Stack pillows to achieve a comfortable angle, allowing gravity to assist in draining excess fluids away from your face.
- Prescribed Medications: Follow your dentist’s prescription for pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications to the letter. These medications play a pivotal role in managing discomfort and minimizing inflammation.
- Stay Hydrated: Choose water, herbal teas, and clear broths. Avoid excessive caffeine and sugary beverages, as they can interfere with healing.
- Mindful Oral Hygiene: Gently maintain oral hygiene, taking care not to disturb the surgical sites. Follow your dentist’s recommendations for rinsing with warm saltwater or a prescribed mouthwash.
- No Straws!: Straws and sucking motions can dislodge the forming blood clot and hinder healing. Choose to sip fluids directly from a cup during this period.
- Rest and Limit Your Activity: Allow your body the rest it needs. Strenuous activities can increase blood flow to the head, potentially worsening swelling. Engage in light activities once you receive clearance from your dentist.
- Follow-Up Appointments: Attend your scheduled follow-up appointments with your dentist or oral surgeon. They can assess your progress, address any concerns, and provide personalized advice.