Wisdom teeth removal is a common procedure that can relieve discomfort and improve oral health. However, it’s essential to follow your doctor’s instructions carefully after surgery to ensure a smooth recovery.  One of the most important things you can do is avoid using a straw after wisdom teeth removal. Learn more about why following this advice is crucial for your recovery.

Why Is It Important to Avoid Using a Straw After Wisdom Teeth Removal?

When your wisdom teeth are extracted, a blood clot forms to fill in the space where the tooth was. This blood clot is essential to ensuring your gums and bone tissue heal correctly. The suction created from drinking with a straw is more than enough to create a pressure vacuum to dislodge this important blood clot.

What Happens If the Blood Clot is Dislodged?

A dislodged blood clot from a wisdom tooth surgery impacts healing and can lead to a dry socket. Dry socket is an uncomfortable condition that makes it difficult to eat and talk and is challenging to treat with over-the-counter pain medications. Further, dislodging the blood clot lengthens the recovery period as another blood clot will need to form and continue healing. Each time a blood clot is dislodged, your recovery time and risk of infection increases.

What Else Could Cause a Blood Clot to Dislodge?

The pressure of using a straw after wisdom teeth removal is just one of the ways a blood clot can become dislodged, causing complications to arise. Other actions to avoid include:

  • Smoking
  • Spitting
  • Brushing teeth too vigorously
  • Eating hard/crunchy/sticky foods

Contact your surgeon with any of these symptoms:

  • Increased drainage from the socket
  • Increased discomfort
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Persistent swelling
  • High fever

How Long Should I Avoid Using A Straw After Wisdom Teeth Removal?

Your surgeon will likely recommend avoiding the use of straws for at least seven to 10 days after surgery. This will give the blood clot time to form and heal properly. In addition, other steps you can take to ensure  a smooth recovery from wisdom teeth surgery include:

  • Get plenty of rest
  • Take your pain medication as prescribed
  • Apply ice to your face to reduce swelling
  • Eat soft, bland foods
  • Brush your teeth gently
  • Floss carefully
  • Avoid smoking

Learn More about Wisdom Teeth Removal

Learn more about wisdom teeth removal at Virginia Oral, Facial & Implant Surgery. If you’re ready to have your wisdom teeth removed, we are happy to answer any questions you have.