Updated: Dec 1, 2022
Of course you can have coffee after having your wisdom teeth removed but you should be aware about why it may not be the best drink for the wound healing process. Rephrased another way, you can physically drink the coffee afterwards but there may be some detrimental side effects from drinking it too soon.
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When can I start drinking coffee after wisdom teeth removal?
The recommendation is to wait until the next morning after having the wisdom teeth removed to start drinking coffee because that is when most of the bleeding has stopped. The reason for waiting until the next day is because the acidity from the coffee can interfere with the blood clotting process, which would delay wound healing and encourage continual bleeding. If the bleeding from the extraction site won't stop, it may be because you're having a cup of coffee!
Why does the acidity from coffee impair blood clot formation?
There have been studies that showed a slight increase of acidity such as lowering the pH by 0.4, can increase the clotting time by 25% and decrease the clot firmness by 25%. This 25% decrease in effectiveness is from dropping the pH from 7.4 to 7.0
Black coffee has an acidic pH of around 5
Coffee with milk has an acidic pH of around 6
Due to the acidic nature of coffee, regardless of if you add milk to it or not, it will impair the clotting process when the wound is healing. The anticipated effect would be greater than a 25% decrease in blood clotting efficacy.
With this in mind, our long island city dentists recommend that you wait until the next morning to have your cup of coffee because the bleeding should've mostly stopped by then. If you knew you were going to have teeth removed, you should've had your cup of coffee before the procedure so you can avoid the situation of coffee interfering with the wound healing process.
What are the disadvantages to drinking coffee after wisdom teeth removal?
Now that you know coffee's acidity can impede blood clotting, drinking it immediately after having your wisdom teeth removed would encourage bleeding and delay wound healing. If you don't wait at least a day to have coffee, it may take you a lot longer to recover from the tooth extraction!
This means that if you you're experiencing pain and discomfort from the procedure, drinking coffee would only prolonged your suffering because your recovery ability will be impaired. Now whether or not you want to drink coffee afterwards would be your decision to make because the coffee won't completely stop the clotting process but only slows it down.
Can you drink iced coffee after wisdom teeth removal?
Do the same rules apply to iced coffee? Drinking iced coffee after wisdom teeth removal won't drastically change the outcome compared to hot coffee since it will still impair the blood clotting process.
Although the ice coffee may be marginally better since the ice would dilute the coffee a little, making the drink less acidic. If you also add milk to the iced coffee, it would help to bring the pH up as well but overall it will still be considered an acidic drink. This is because pure water has a pH of 7 and diluting coffee with water and milk won't ever make it as pure as pure water.
Hopefully that answers all of your questions regarding whether or not you can drink coffee after having your teeth extracted. To summarize, you are able to drink the coffee but drinking it will slow down the healing process. The same rules applies to other acidic beverages such as alcohol, sodas, diet sodas, and even sparkling water but above all, please don't use a straw to drink any of the beverages if you do.
With this in mind, our long island city dentists recommend that you wait until the next morning to have your cup of coffee because the bleeding should've mostly stopped by then.
Well, as long as you're not being sedated for the procedure you can also try drinking coffee prior to your appointment. At least you'll get your caffeine fix for the rest of the day!