5 Reasons to Avoid Alcohol After Dental Implant Surgery

Dentist Blog

After undergoing surgery to get dental implants, you might want to reward yourself with a cool beer or glass of red wine. However, dentists recommend that you resist the temptation, for a little while at least. Your dentist will probably advise you to avoid alcohol for at least three days after oral surgery: here are five reasons to follow this advice.

1. Alcohol Interferes With Implant Integration

After you get your dental implants, your body has a lot of work to do. It needs to repair the gum tissue that was damaged during the procedure, as well as building new bone to integrate with the titanium implant posts. Alcohol can interfere with these natural healing processes, increasing the risk of dental implant failure. 

2. Alcohol Can Increase Pain

You might think that a stiff drink would make you feel more comfortable, but alcohol can actually increase oral pain. Alcohol causes capillaries in the gums to dilate, which can lead to an increase in sensitivity. The best way to get rid of pain after dental implant surgery is to sip water and take over-the-counter pain relief medicines.

3. Alcohol Causes Dry Mouth

Alcohol has a dehydrating effect on the human body, which can be dangerous when you are recovering from dental implant surgery. If the delicate tissues in your mouth dry out, they may not be able to heal properly, and it is likely that they will feel sensitive and uncomfortable. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, and wait three days (or longer if your dentist recommends it) before you have your first alcoholic beverage.

4. Alcohol Increases the Risk of Avascular Necrosis

Avascular necrosis, which dentists often call AVN, is an unusual complication of dental implant surgery, in which the blood vessels that transport nutrients to the jaw bone become blocked, causing the bone to die. Alcohol increases the risk of AVN because it increases the fat content of blood, which means that a clot in the blood vessels around the jaw is more likely. According to a case report from 2011, a patient developed AVN when he drank the day after getting dental implants fitted, and it led to severe complications.

5. Drinking Is Bad for Dental Implants Over the Long Term

After healing is complete, you can safely enjoy a glass of beer or wine. However, heavy drinking can have long-term impacts on your dental implants. Excessive alcohol consumption interferes with blood supply, which can eventually cause dental implants to fail, even if the initial surgery was a success. If you are concerned about the effects of your drinking on your dental implants, ask your dentist for advice.


22 March 2018

Dental Health: Not To Be Taken For Granted

As a retired dentist, I work with charities which visit developing countries and educate children about dental care. It gives me great satisfaction to revisit these communities and see how proud the children are of their efforts. I am acutely aware that good dental hygiene can help prevent a range of serious conditions when these children become older. I started this blog because it greatly distresses me that many people in Australia do not seem to care for their teeth as much as children in these poor communities. This is happening despite ready access to items like toothbrushes and toothpaste which are luxuries in the places I visit. It is my hope that this blog encourages you not to take dental health for granted. My greatest wish is that you can be as inspired as the children I see in my charity work. Please read on and enjoy.