Foods To Eat And Avoid After Wisdom Teeth Removal

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Definition of wisdom teeth removal

Wisdom tooth extraction also known as the third molars are one of the most common surgical practices in the UK. The wisdom teeth are the last to come through the gums and most individuals will have 4 of them, one in each corner of the mouth. Due to the lack of space, wisdom teeth can grow at an angle, get stuck in the gums or only partially emerge. Wisdom teeth do not usually need to be removed if they are not causing any problems, however those wisdom teeth that are impacted can cause dental problems such as tooth decay, gum disease, pericoronitis and abscess, this is when the dentist will take X-Rays and decide if the wisdom tooth needs to be extracted.1 

Importance of proper diet post surgery

After wisdom teeth removal, it is essential to get accurate nutrition. A nutritious and nourishing diet post wisdom teeth surgery minimizes the risk of complications, helps reduce swelling, provides nourishment and aids the wound healing process.2 It is important that the foods after surgery are soft and easy to chew, this helps the site heal and avoids irritation and injury in the extraction area.2

Foods to eat after wisdom teeth removal

Post dental surgery, consuming softs foods and liquids, protein rich foods and cold foods and beverages can be healing for the individual. Extremely high or low temperature foods may cause irritation and soreness in the area, and these are best to avoid. 

Soft foods like cool soups are a good way to get essential nutrients and proteins into the body, mashed and pureed foods like mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes also get nutrients into the body. You can mash more than one vegetable like squash, green beans and carrots with potatoes or make sweet mashed fruit cups like banana, avocados and apples.3

Protein rich foods like scrambled eggs are easy to chew and high in protein and rich in vitamins and minerals. When purchasing eggs, try to find pasteurized or omega 3 enriched, this is because omega 3 fats aid in wound healing.4

Greek yogurt is also highly nutritious and its smooth texture can soothe the mouth. Greek yogurt is rich in proteins, vitamins and minerals such as calcium and zinc.3

Smoothies are a great way to consume great nutrition, you can add avocados which are high in vitamin K, vitamin C and potassium, you can add greek yogurt or a scoop of protein powder to get your protein in and help with healing.5

Another soft meal you can consume is porridge, porridge is a great source of fibre and contains lots of vitamins and minerals. You can blend the porridge to make a smooth paste. 

Soft foods

  • Mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes
  • Applesauce and fruit cups
  • Soups and broths

Protein-rich foods

  • Greek yoghurt and cottage cheese
  • Scrambled eggs and tofu
  • Protein shakes

Cold foods and beverages

  • Popsicles and ice cream
  • Smoothies and milkshakes
  • Cold pressed juices

Foods to avoid after wisdom teeth removal

Spicy, acidic foods and crunchy foods should be avoided after removing a tooth, these foods can irritate the mouth and gums. 

Crunchy foods can get stuck in the wound area and cause bleeding and disrupt the healing process. Crunchy foods like chips, cookies, grains and seeds all should be avoided. Spicy foods can cause pain and irritation in the gums and the wounded area and these should be avoided as well. Chewy foods like toffee can increase the risk of biting your lips, cheek and tongue especially post surgery when the mouth is numb.3

Other things to keep in mind post tooth extraction is to avoid using a straw during the healing process as the straw can create a suction and unlodge the blood clot protecting the wounded area. If this occurs something called a dry socket appears where the clot protecting the wounded area is removed and the bones and nerves are exposed to the air which causes sensitivity, numbing and delays healing.2 

Crunchy foods

  • Chips and pretzels
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Raw vegetables

Spicy and acidic foods

  • Hot sauces and spicy foods
  • Citrus fruits and juices
  • Vinegar-based foods

Tips for eating after wisdom teeth removal

Post wisdom tooth extraction for 24 hours, avoid rinsing, spitting, hot drinks and anything that can dislodge the blood clot. Eat soft and liquid foods for a few days. Gently rinse the extraction site with antiseptic or warm water and a teaspoon of salt in the place of mouthwash to reduce gum soreness and inflammation. It is also beneficial to avoid heavy activity and exercise for a few days.6

  • Chew slowly and carefully
  • Avoid using a straw
  • Rinse mouth gently with salt water


In conclusion, wisdom tooth extraction is a painful procedure and the healing process can take a few days. It is essential to focus on the recovery process and eat the right nutrition. This will help you feel strong and the healing process will be faster. It is best to eat soft and liquid foods that will not cause any irritation to the gums for a few days post surgery that are nutritionally complete and contain all the vitamins and minerals for a quick recovery process. Crunchy, acidic and spicy foods should be avoided as these can cause irritation and pain to the extraction area. 


  1. NHS. Wisdom tooth removal [Internet]. NHS choices. NHS; 2021 [cited 2023Mar22]. Available from: 
  2. Raman R. What to eat after wisdom teeth removal: Soft foods and more [Internet]. Healthline. Healthline Media; 2023 [cited 2023Mar22]. Available from: 
  3. What to eat after tooth extraction: Colgate® [Internet]. What To Eat After Tooth Extraction | Colgate®. 2021 [cited 2023Mar22]. Available from: 
  4. Fooddata Central Search Results [Internet]. FoodData Central. 2021 [cited 2023Mar22]. Available from: 
  5. Russell L. The importance of patients' nutritional status in wound healing. British Journal of Nursing. 2001 Mar 22;10(Sup1):S42-9.
  6. NHS. Recovery -Wisdom tooth removal [Internet]. NHS choices. NHS; 2021 [cited 2023Mar23]. Available from:,chew%20with%20your%20other%20teeth 

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This content is purely informational and isn’t medical guidance. It shouldn’t replace professional medical counsel. Always consult your physician regarding treatment risks and benefits. See our editorial standards for more details.

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Sakina Poonawala

MSc in Obesity and Clinical Nutrition, UCL

Sakina Poonawala is a clinical nutritionist who is working as a family and NCMP nutritionist at BeeZee Bodies where she interacts with children and families who need behavior change and lifestyle support.
She has done her masters from UCL and her undergraduate degree from the University of Westminster in Human Nutrition.

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