Updated: Oct 12, 2022
Every dentist will tell you to avoid using a straw after having your wisdom teeth removed but why shouldn't you do it and when can you do it again? It's just a straw, how bad can it be?
Table of Contents:
When can I use a straw after wisdom teeth removal?
You can start using a straw the next day after wisdom teeth removal but you should avoid using a straw on the day of because you don't want to disturb the blood clot from forming. Drinking through a straw while a blood clot is trying to form, may disrupt the formation by dislodging the clot. The reason is because the act of drinking through a straw, creates a lot of pressure in the mouth and that pressure can loosen the blood clot and dislodge it.
The nugget of wisdom is that any type of intraoral pressure will dislodge a blood clot and that applies to more than just drinking with a straw after having your wisdom teeth removed. The same principle also applies to spitting and rinsing, both of which you shouldn't do after an extraction. Let's review the three things you should not do afterwards because they create a lot of pressure in your mouth.
The three things you shouldn't do after extracting your wisdom teeth due to causing a lot of pressure in your mouth.
No Drinking with a straw.
All three of these rules apply to the day of the procedure. Once the day next comes and the sun rises, you can drink with a straw, spit and rinse as much as you want! Just to reiterate, you just can't do them on the day of the surgery. Our long island city dentists will repeat these three rules to you three times so that you don't forget. In addition to that, we'll give you a post-operative care sheet as well.
Why shouldn't I use a straw after taking out wisdom teeth?
You should not use a straw after having the wisdom teeth removed because if you dislodge the blood clot, the extraction socket will continue to keep bleeding. After the extraction, we want to achieve hemostasis, which is getting the wound to stop bleeding as soon as possible. Stopping the bleeding is very important because uncontrolled bleeding can be life threatening and may cost you a trip to the emergency department in the middle of the night.
If you dislodge the blood clot from drinking with a straw, the wound will experience prolonged bleeding.
Will using a straw after wisdom teeth removal cause a dry socket?
Contrary to popular belief, using a straw after wisdom teeth removal will not cause a dry socket and there is no evidence to prove otherwise. The reason is because getting a dry socket is a biological process and is not caused by a mechanical process such as dislodging the blood clot from excessive pressure in the mouth.
The study that was conducted, tested over 200 extracted teeth for whether using straws caused a dry socket when wisdom teeth were extracted. Half of the group used a straw with all of their meals for the next 2 days after surgery while the other half did not. The results were as follows.
Of those who used a straw, 15% developed a dry socket.
Of those who didn't use a straw, 15% developed a dry socket.
The conclusion was that using a straw after third molar extractions had no effect on dry socket formation at all. This means that our widely held belief of straws causing dry sockets turned out to be absolutely false.
What is a dry socket?
This is absolutely fascinating information even for our LIC dentists because dry socket, otherwise known as alveolar osteitis, typically develops when a blood clot fails to form in an extraction socket. Dry socket is a very painful condition, which takes a couple of weeks to resolve on its own.
Interestingly with this new information, it appears that the painful dry socket condition will only develop if your body is unable to naturally form the blood clot. If you dislodge the blood clot by non-compliantly drinking with a straw, your body will not penalize you by giving you a painful dry socket.
If you have any further questions about your wisdom tooth extraction or regular tooth extraction, you can schedule a consultation with one of our dentists in long island city and they'll be delighted to take care of you.