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Are pineapple juice and green tea actually good for healing after oral surgery?

It’s amazing the kinds of questions you come across on the Internet, including this one inquiry about the effectiveness of pineapple juice and green tea after someone has had oral surgery. Having wisdom teeth extracted, in this case.


Generally, tooth extraction pain can range from mild to a bit more severe; the severe pain typically being treated with prescription medication. But it is also common that the tooth extraction site is only tender, stiff and slightly swollen, so much less pain management is needed. Plus, most of us find the side effects of heavy pain medications to be too overwhelming and uncomfortable.


The advice for wisdom teeth patients who want to take a gentler, more naturopathic approach to their recovery will find many of the following pieces of advice helpful.


Stock up on ingredients for smoothies and soups because they are easy to eat without too much effort from the jaw and they will line your stomach when it’s time to take medication.

  • Make a pitcher of iced green tea and keep it in the fridge.
  • Keep the used green tea bags to keep compressed against the pockets where the teeth once resided.
  • Check that the freezer has frozen produce, or washcloths doused in water for quick and cold compresses.
  • Make your recovery station (bed, couch, outdoor patio) super comfy and outfitted with everything you need within reach.


While it’s difficult to find any substantial claims from professionals about using pineapple juice and green tea, there are some oral surgeons who will recommend applying minced garlic to the extraction site periodically to relieve pain, or rinsing with diluted apple cider vinegar or salt water to eliminate bacteria. Clove oil and tea tree oil also apparently relieve tooth and gum pain when applied directly to the pain site.


Fresh pineapple juice contains the enzyme bromelain. Bromelain is a naturally occurring anti-inflammatory that can decrease swelling, tenderness, and pain. Pineapple juice may help reduce the recovery time from bruising, sprains and strains, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, but they do not specifically mention it in relation to oral surgeries. Remember though, that its fresh pineapple juice that contains the enzyme and you may not have the full anti-inflammatory effects if you open up a can of Dole. Dr. Dennis L. DeDecker notes that acidic drinks of any kind should be avoided for the first 24 hours. His only mention of green tea is again in using the bags as a cooling compress only.


In the end, the most important thing to remember is that oral surgery will be different for everyone. And therefore, we should take a more nuanced approach to our safe and healthy recovery. Pineapple juice and green tea may work for a number of people but you, your oral surgeon and dentist know your mouth better than anyone spouting knowledge online, and it’s the combined advice and experience of your dedicated care team that you should be drawing on instead.


If pain continues or intensifies past this point, it may require the dentist’s or surgeon’s attention. Follow their directions from the start and they will have a better idea of how to handle recurring pain or infection.

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