Updated: Aug 12
A tiktok trend has caught the world by storm because apparently drinking pineapple can reduce swelling and inflammation from wisdom teeth. Is it just a hoax or is there at least some truth to why pineapple juice can have such benefits?
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Does pineapple juice help with wisdom teeth?
Pineapple juice can help with reducing wisdom teeth inflammation and swelling if you drink it before and after removing your wisdom teeth. There were two studies that were conducted which administered bromelain, a proteolytic enzyme that is present in pineapple juice, to patients who underwent wisdom teeth removal and the results showed that it did reduce the swelling afterwards.
The first study found that 28 out of the 40 cases showed a reduction in swelling and inflammation from wisdom teeth removal when the patients were given bromelain for 7 days.
The second study found that the bromelain did not reduce the swelling but did reduce inflammation. There was no effect on pain reduction.
So, yes the pineapple juice can help with post operative swelling and inflammation after wisdom teeth removal but its not because of the juice itself but it has more to do with the bromelain in the juice. Apparently there are a whole host of benefits to consuming bromelain as a supplement since it exhibits fibrinolytic, antiedematous, antithrombotic, and anti-inflammatory activities.
List of therapeutic uses for Bromelain:
Treatment of angina pectoris
Debridement of wounds
Enhanced absorption of antibiotics
Various cardiovascular disorders
The reason why pineapple juice helps with swelling is BECAUSE of the bromelain that is specifically in the juice. If you removed the bromelain, pineapple juice before surgery would not reduce any swelling at all. All of the benefits from inflammation and swelling reduction are due to the fact that it has bromelain.
For additional info: If you happen to have a broken jaw from the wisdom tooth extraction or from other means, pineapple juice will not fix it. Reducing a fracture is a surgical procedure and that will require physical and professional intervention usually at a hospital.
Should you drink pineapple juice before and after wisdom teeth removal?
Even though pineapple juice can scientifically help with the aftermath of wisdom teeth extractions, our dentists would recommend against such a practice. The reason is due to the negative benefits associated with consuming such a large quantity of juice, which includes tooth decay and possible delayed wound healing. It will make more sense if you understand how tiktokers are recommending to drink the juice.
How to drink pineapple juice for wisdom teeth:
Drink 64 oz of pineapple juice before the wisdom teeth procedure.
Keep drinking additional juice for the next 7 days after the procedure.
Tooth decay from pineapple juice
That is a lot of pineapple juice and consequently a lot of sugar to be consuming on a daily basis since there are about 25 grams of sugar in each cup. Just because you're having your wisdom teeth removed, it does not permit you to ignore the effects of sugar on your teeth.
Constantly bathing your teeth in that much sugar everyday for the next 7 days will certainly give you a cavity or two. If you only took one wisdom tooth out, the pineapple juice may cause decay on the other three wisdom teeth that were left behind.
In addition to the amount of sugar that you are consuming, you are most likely not brushing and flossing as well since you may still be experiencing a lot of discomfort from the procedure. So if you add in all of the sugar you are consuming with a reduction in oral hygiene, that makes a recipe for new cavities.
Delayed wound healing from pineapple juice
The bromelain in pineapple juice can reduce swelling and inflammation but when you take it in juice form, it actually makes for a very acidic drink. Studies have shown that an acidic environment will reduce your body's ability to form a blood clot by 25% if you increase the acidity by as little as 0.4 and that may cause continued bleeding.
If you add the benefits together with the negatives, they may just cancel each other out so you may not get much of a net positive. We believe that there is a better way to treat wisdom teeth swelling and inflammation.
Exceeding daily fruit intake
How much pineapple juice you should drink in a daily is based on your recommended daily fruit in take. According to the US Department of Agriculture, 4 oz of juice is equal to 1/2 a cup of serving of a fruit but to meet the daily intake you should have about 2 cups. Those 2 cups equals 16 oz of juice for the entire day.
To reduce wisdom tooth swelling, the protocol calls for 64 oz of juice per day, which is approximately 4x the recommended fruit intake by the department of agriculture. This completely exceeds the daily limit and therefore can potentially cause harm.
Is there a better alternative to drinking pineapple juice for wisdom teeth?
A better alternative to drinking pineapple juice for wisdom teeth would be to ditch the juice completely and just take a Bromelain supplement instead. Just to reiterate what was said above, all of the wisdom teeth benefits came from the bromelain in the juice. If you just take the bromelain in pill form instead of in juice form, you would reap all of the benefits without any of the negatives. Also don't forget to avoid drinking the pineapple juice with a straw.
Besides, it is not very practical to be drinking 64 oz of pineapple juice everyday for 7 days. Even if you love juice, that may just juice you out. Then there is also the fact that you may end up with additional visits to the dentist just to have all of those pineapple induced cavities filled. Here is a short recap for the pros and cons for the juice vs the pill to get Bromelain.
Pros and Cons for drinking pineapple juice after wisdom teeth
Juice contains bromelain and will reduce inflammation.
The juice is certainly tasty.
You can make a tiktok video of it afterwards.
You may end up with cavities afterwards.
Acidity of the juice may counteract the benefits due to possible wound healing delay
Pros and Cons for taking a bromelain supplement
No cavities afterwards
Will reduce inflammation
Doesn't taste as good as the juice
No tiktok video potential
After weighing all of these pros and cons, we would recommend against drinking pineapple juice for wisdom teeth removal and opt for choosing a bromelain supplement instead. Taking it in pill form will give you all of the benefits without any of the disadvantages!
Author: Written by Dr David Chen, a general dentist in long island city.