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Why No Dairy After Tooth Extraction?

May 30, 2023

When possible, dental providers strive to save natural teeth. Unfortunately, restorative methods such as dental crowns or fillings are not enough. If a tooth is damaged beyond repair, extraction is necessary. Tooth extraction, also known as “pulling a tooth”, is a procedure in which the tooth is removed from the socket.

The team at Arlington Dental Excellence typically recommends extraction in the case of:

Most simple extractions are performed by a general dentist. However, if surgery is required to remove the tooth, an oral surgeon or periodontist may be needed. In this article, we’ll explain more about this procedure and proper aftercare, including why you should avoid dairy.

Tooth Extraction Procedure and Recovery

The dentist performing the procedure will start by administering local anesthesia to the area around the affected tooth. This will numb the area so that you do not feel pain. You may still feel some pressure. If needed, you may be offered oral or IV sedation to help you relax.

Once the anesthesia has taken effect, the dentist will use special instruments to loosen the tooth and lift it from the socket. In more complex cases, the dentist may need to make incisions in your gums to access the tooth.

After removing the tooth, the socket will be cleaned and disinfected. If necessary, bone grafting may be done to prevent jawbone deterioration in the area. Stitches may be placed to facilitate healing.

Once the extraction is complete, the dentist will place a piece of gauze over it and have you bite down. This will put pressure on the extraction site to encourage clotting. You should change the gauze as needed and remove it once the bleeding has slowed. In some cases, light bleeding may continue for up to 24 hours.

Eating Habits Following Tooth Extraction

A major part of the recovery process following tooth extraction is knowing what you can and can’t eat. There are certain foods that will cause pain and discomfort- dairy is one of them. While dairy products are good for you because they are high in calcium and other vitamins and minerals, they can be detrimental to healing following dental procedures such as extractions.

Why No Dairy After Tooth Extraction?

There are several reasons you should avoid dairy products following tooth extraction, including:

  • May delay healing

    Aftercare following tooth extraction involves steps to prevent infection and facilitate healing of the extraction site. While dairy does provide your body with vital nutrients, it can delay healing. This is because of the high levels of calcium, which interfere with clotting. When you consume dairy products following extraction, the site is likely to bleed for a longer period of time.

    In addition, dairy products have been shown to cause inflammation at the extraction site, which can have a detrimental impact on healing as well.

  • May increase swelling

    Everyone knows that dairy products can increase swelling. The proteins in dairy cause inflammation, which results in swelling as well as pain and discomfort.

  • May cause infection

    When a tooth is extracted, the socket is considered an “open wound”. This means that it is vulnerable to infection if it comes in contact with bacteria. According to the experts, one of the most common food sources of bacteria is dairy products. Therefore, it’s best to avoid these foods and beverages.

  • May cause dry socket

    After you have a tooth extracted, a blood clot will form in the socket, which will protect it and promote healing. If the blood clot is dislodged or doesn’t form, the resulting condition is known as dry socket. This is a painful condition and increases your healing time. Dairy products are known to cause dry socket.

  • May interfere with taste buds

    Dairy products can coat the soft tissues of your mouth, which makes it difficult for your taste buds to function properly. This may alter your perception of taste or cause taste buds to stop functioning.

Another common issue with dairy products is an increase in mucus production, which can impact the function of your taste buds.

Other Food Considerations Following Tooth Extraction

In addition to avoiding dairy, it’s also important to avoid foods that are crunchy, hard, or acidic. You will want to stick to a soft food diet for a few days and gradually transition back to your normal diet after about 72 hours. Avoid using a straw during this time as well because it can cause the blood clot to dislodge.

Avoid Dairy for Better Healing Following Tooth Extraction

Proper aftercare following tooth extraction at Arlington Dental Excellence is critical for ensuring healing. One of the biggest components of aftercare is knowing what you can and cannot eat.

While dairy products are packed with vitamins and minerals that are good for your overall health, they can also be detrimental to healing following tooth extraction. Therefore, it is important to avoid these products following tooth extraction or any other surgical dental procedure. After all, the best way to ensure optimal oral and overall health is to have a successful recovery following these procedures.

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