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Should You Drink Alcohol After Wisdom Teeth Removal?

Updated: May 19

After a stressful day, kicking back with an alcoholic drink is the best way to end the day but is it okay to do after having your wisdom teeth out? There are some situations where you can't but also some where you can.

Alcoholic drink

Can you drink alcohol after wisdom teeth removal?

You should not drink alcohol after removing your wisdom teeth because the alcohol can interfere with the painkillers, antibiotics, and the wound healing process. Interrupting any of these three can delay the healing or cause you bodily harm.

impacted wisdom tooth
impacted wisdom tooth

Painkillers mixed with alcohol

Drinking alcohol when you're taking painkillers is dangerous and can lead to bodily harm because of the risk for overdose. The reason is because your liver is the only organ that can detoxify alcohol and process the painkillers.

If you're drinking while on pain relievers, the liver will have to divert some of its resources towards detoxifying the alcohol. This can lead to higher concentrations of the pain medication circulating in your blood stream. If you continue to take your painkillers as directed, you will potentially overdose on them and end up in a hospital.

Antibiotics mixed with alcohol

Taking antibiotics along with alcohol can have severe side effects such as upset stomach, dizziness, and drowsiness. There are also certain antibiotics when mixed with alcohol can lead to severe reactions.

  • Metronidazole when mixed with alcohol can cause flushing, headache, nausea, vomiting, and a rapid heart rate.

  • Linezolid when taken with alcohol can cause a dangerous increase in blood pressure.

Alcohol acidity can delay wound healing

Alcohol is very acidic and studies have shown that an increase in acidity can decrease the body's blood clotting ability by 25%. So, if you are drinking alcohol while the extraction site is still bleeding, it will continue to bleed. If you want to get the socket to stop oozing blood, you may want to put a pause on that alcoholic drink.

There is also the fact that alcohol will burn and if you have an open wound, it will cause it to burn. This may cause discomfort or even pain when the alcohol comes into contact with the wound.

When can you resume drinking alcohol after wisdom teeth removal?

You can drink alcohol again once you finish all of your painkillers and antibiotics because taking them together can cause severe side effects. Once you're done with the medications, it will be safe to drink alcohol again.

This means that you will have to wait as long as 7 days before you can drink alcohol after having the wisdom teeth removed because that's usually the length of time for the course of prescriptions.

The only time when you are able to drink alcohol after tooth removal.

If you understand all of the reasons why we do not recommend drinking alcohol after a wisdom tooth extraction, you can technically drink it afterwards but only if you satisfy these conditions.

You can drink alcohol afterwards if you do not take any prescription medications but please be aware that the time it will take you to heal will be severely delayed. Also, please don't use a straw to drink the alcohol because that will only make it worse.

If you don't take the antibiotics or painkillers, you won't get the detrimental side effects from mixing with the alcohol. Of course this means that you risk getting an infection like a dry socket afterwards and you'll also be in pain since you're not taking any pain relievers.

If you're fine with that then you can go ahead and drink the alcohol. Although our dentists in long island city would not recommend such a course of action because you're purposely putting yourself through pain without any pain relievers.

You also have to be aware that it will take your body longer to stop the bleeding from where the tooth was removed because the acidity from the alcohol slows down the clotting process. You will have to bear with a bloody mouth for a prolonged period of time.

Of course, this is your decision to make but if you want to know what we would do personally... We would skip the alcohol for a week and take the prescribed antibiotics along with painkillers. It is the more comfortable route and the least painful.

David Chen 200 x 200.jpg

About the author: Dr David Chen, DDS

Hello, I'm Dr Chen and I'm an actively practicing dentist in Long Island City, NY. I graduated from Columbia University College of Dental Medicine in 2016 but prior to going to dental school I was already working in the dental field. It's been more than a decade since I first got to know dentistry and let me tell you, time flies by quickly. Since then I've developed a fondness for writing, which is how this all got started!

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Medical Disclaimer:

This blog is purely meant for information purposes and should not be used as medical advice. Each situation in your mouth is unique and complex. It is not possible to give advice nor diagnose any oral conditions based on text nor virtual consultations. The best thing to do is to go in person to see your dentist for an examination and consultation so that you can receive the best care possible.

The purpose of all of this oral health information is to encourage you to see your dentist and to inform you of what you may expect during your visit. Due to the unfortunate nature of dentistry, there isn't really any true home remedies that will get rid of dental problems. Roughly 99.99% of them require in-person intervention by a healthcare professional.

Hint: That is the reason why you can't eliminate seeing dentists in your life!

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