Foods To Avoid After a Tooth Extraction

Tooth Extraction Sacramento, CA

Tooth extraction may be necessary for several reasons: Extensive decay, infection, and overcrowding are all common examples of why a tooth might need to be removed. The procedure can be quite painful, and healing time can vary between patients. Certain foods can aggravate an incision site, possibly leading to infection or injury. Discuss what foods are suitable to eat after extraction surgery with a dental professional when scheduling the procedure.  

Steer clear of these 6 foods after a tooth extraction

One of the key components of a successful recovery after having a tooth extracted is avoiding any foods that could cause pain or slow healing. For most patients, that means avoiding these six common types of food items.  

1. Hard vegetables or fruits

Very hard fruits and vegetables — things like apples, broccoli, and carrots — can cause severe pain after tooth extraction. Chewing them requires a considerable amount of pressure, which can irritate sensitive and swollen gums.  Small, sharp pieces can also poke into the incision site and disrupt healing. 

2. Anything that requires a straw

While many dentists and oral surgeons recommend liquids and soft foods, like smoothies, for the first few days after surgery, straws should not be used to drink them. The suction necessary to draw fluids through a straw can dislodge blood clots forming over the incision and cause bleeding. It also causes the area to be open longer, increasing the chances of an infection forming. 

3. Foods that have a spicy kick to them

Many spicy foods cause a burning sensation inside the mouth under normal circumstances. The situation inside of a mouth that has just had a tooth removed is far from normal. If a food item would typically cause mild burning, the feeling will likely be more intense with an open wound present. 

4. Foods that require a lot of chewing

Tooth extraction can leave the jaw inflamed and sensitive. Very chewy foods like candies, steak, or jerky require serious jaw power to process. Waiting at least a few days after having a tooth removed will give the jaw time to heal and recover before being put back to work. 

5. Highly acidic foods

Much like lemon juice in a paper cut causes a surprising amount of pain, highly acidic foods will cause a burning sensation on an extraction site. In addition to being uncomfortable, these foods can also cause general irritation of mouth surfaces that slows down overall healing. 

6. Hard foods like nuts and popcorn

In addition to being difficult to chew, hard foods like nuts and popcorn are also notorious for leaving small bits between teeth. A little piece of food could easily get lodged into the open area, causing infection of gums and possibly the jaw. They should be avoided until the incision is fully healed. 


There are many reasons you may need to undergo a tooth extraction. Knowing what foods to avoid after the procedure will facilitate healing and increase comfort. Talk to a dental professional to learn more about what types of foods are and are not safe to eat after having a tooth removed. 

Request an appointment here: or call Dental Excellence of Greenhaven at (916) 293-0504 for an appointment in our Sacramento office.

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