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Drinking Pineapple Juice For Wisdom Teeth Removal: Yea or Nay?

A TikTok trend has caught the world by storm because apparently drinking pineapple can reduce swelling and inflammation from wisdom teeth removal. Is it just a hoax or is there at least some truth to why pineapple juice can have such benefits?


Is there any truth to this or are TikTokers blending myth with reality just to grab some views and likes?


Table of Contents:


How to use pineapple juice for wisdom teeth

According to the online community, you simply drink 64oz of pineapple juice the night before your wisdom teeth extraction.

  1. Buy 64oz of pineapple juice.

  2. Drink all of it the day or night before your surgery.

  3. Miraculously have no swelling or pain afterwards.



Our critique of the protocol

We do not believe that is the best way to use pineapple juice for your wisdom teeth recovery.

  • It assumes that swelling, inflammation, and pain is a singular point in time. Pain after an extraction generally lasts for about a week and that is why your dentist gave you pain medication for 7 days. It's great that you drank pineapple juice the night before your procedure but what about the next 6 days?

  • It ignores the half-life of bromelain. Our body processes all food and drugs to prevent intoxication. According to studies, the half-life of bromelain is 6-9 hours. That means that after 6-9 hours, there will only be half the amount of it remaining. By drinking 64oz in one sitting, you may only be protecting yourself for a day or so. Once again, what about the next 6 days after the surgery?


Drinking all of the juice in one sitting doesn't seem to be the most effective way to prevent swelling and inflammation. Your body will process the juice after a certain amount of time. The concept is similar to how you process alcohol. You don't stay drunk from drinking unless you keep drinking. The same can be said about the bromelain because the swelling prevention effect doesn't stay active unless you keep drinking it.


Evidence for our claim is actually presented in one of the studies which we provided above. The researchers had the test subjects drink two 350mL of pineapple juice everyday for 7 days before and 7 days after the procedure. Obviously it is because you want a constant supply of bromelain circulating in your bloodstream.


 

Can pineapple juice reduce wisdom teeth swelling and inflammation?

Drinking pineapple juice before and after your wisdom teeth removal can reduce unwanted post-surgical side effects such as swelling and inflammation. Apparently these benefits are due to a proteolytic enzyme in the juice known as bromelain.


pineapple

Studies validating the effects of bromelain:

  • One study found that 70% of the subjects which were given bromelain after wisdom teeth removal experienced reduced swelling and pain.

  • Another study found that bromelain only reduced inflammation but had no effect on swelling and pain.


Study validating the effects of pineapple juice:

  • A randomized clinical study involving 100 patients undergoing surgical procedures.

  • The group taking pineapple juice drank two 350 mL glasses everyday for 7 days before the procedure and 7 days after it.

  • Conclusion was that the negative after effects were minimized and provided faster recovery.


In summary, pineapple juice or rather bromelain is effective in reducing post-surgical side effects. It was effective for wisdom teeth removal as well as other surgical procedures. Therefore if you were still wondering if pineapple juice can improve wisdom teeth extraction recovery, the answer is yes. Are you surprised that this turned out to be true?


 

Side effects

Although pineapple juice may be beneficial for your recovery, you do need to be mindful of some of the adverse effects. Yes, it may even impede healing.


Adverse effects drinking pineapple juice after wisdom teeth:

  • Bleeding risk. Research studies have shown that a mild increase in acidity in the mouth from a pH of 7.4 to 7.0 can result in a staggering 25% difference in clotting. It takes 25% more time to form the clot and it will also be 25% less firm. As you guessed, pineapple is fairly acidic with a pH below 4.0. In other words, you have an increased risk of bleeding from drinking pineapple juice.

  • Tooth decay. Don't forget that this tropical fruit juice contains a lot of sugar, 25.9g per 240mL to be precise. If you're drinking a lot of it you can bet yourself that your risk for getting a cavity afterwards will also increase. After you recover from your wisdom teeth removal you may need to return to your dentist for some fillings.

  • Dissolve stitches. There is a potential that the pineapple juice may dissolve your wisdom teeth stitches quicker than anticipated causing them to come out early.


In summary, drinking a lot of pineapple juice may affect your body's blood clotting process and may also increase your chances of tooth decay.


 

Better alternative

A better alternative to drinking pineapple juice for your wisdom teeth procedure would be to take bromelain supplements instead.


3 pineapples

The reasoning is because the anti-inflammatory effect of this tropical juice is purely derived from bromelain. If you decide to take bromelain in pill form instead of juice form, you can avoid the adverse effects that come from it.


Advantages of bromelain supplement after wisdom teeth:

  • No acidity. The bromelain pill is not acidic unlike the juice version of it. Therefore you would eliminate the increased bleeding risk from the impediment of clot formation.

  • No sugar. It is also not sweet so you don't have to worry about getting cavities.


It's not unusual to be taking it as a supplement because throughout history, bromelain has been used as an alternative to NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). It's anti-inflammatory properties have been used in many patients with osteoarthritis.


Other therapeutic uses for Bromelain:

  • Angina pectoris

  • Bronchitis

  • Sinusitis

  • Surgical trauma

  • Thrombophlebitis

  • Debridement of wounds

  • Enhance antibiotic absorption

  • Relieves osteoarthritis

  • Diarrhea

  • Cardiovascular disorders


 

Recommendation to expedite wisdom teeth recovery

To be clear, our dentists in Long Island City don't believe there is anything wrong with the traditional approach of taking NSAIDs and using a cold compress to control swelling/inflammation. The current wisdom teeth removal aftercare has worked for decades and will continue to do so.


However, if you wanted a little "oomph" with the possibility of speeding up your wisdom teeth recovery, you may give bromelain supplements a try.


How to speed up recovery:

  1. Take your NSAIDs as usual.

  2. Take your antibiotics.

  3. Use a cold compress on the first day of surgery.

  4. Take bromelain supplements as directed on the label.


That should give you an extra edge in recovering after the extraction. It also does not contain any of the potential adverse effects from drinking the juice form of it.


Although we do understand that it isn't as entertaining as drinking 64oz of pineapple juice and you probably can't make a TikTok video out of it! Who would want to watch a video of you taking a supplement? Well there you have it. As it turns out, it isn't fictitious that pineapple juice can help.

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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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