I had a young patient come in to see me recently, and she asked me if drinking pineapple juice before getting her wisdom teeth out actually works to help her heal faster. I hadn’t heard of this yet and decided to research to clarify if drinking pineapple juice before wisdom teeth surgery can reduce swelling, inflammation and pain and how much you would need to drink to be effective.
Pineapple juice is rich in the enzyme bromelain. Bromelain exhibits anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects, potentially reducing post-surgery swelling and pain. However, the studies show bromelain supplements are effective, not pineapple juice. High sugar content in the juice can impede recovery.
I deep-dived into scientific studies to learn as much as possible and corroborate the messages on social media with information from high-quality scientific research. The evidence is pretty clear that bromelain supplements are more effective than drinking pineapple juice, but drinking pineapple juice does seem to be effective.
In this post, I delve into how pineapple juice, particularly the enzyme bromelain, aids post-op recovery, highlighting a study on bromelain’s effects after wisdom teeth surgery. I also discuss maximizing the benefits of bromelain, oral hygiene tips for healing, and other foods and drinks that enhance recovery.
The wisdom behind pineapple juice pre and post-surgery
I searched pineapple juice and wisdom teeth on TikTok and got stuck in a wild doom scroll.
There are many videos of people’s first-hand experience drinking pineapple juice starting days before their surgery and recording themselves afterward, and many videos by surgeons and dental professionals.
I do have to say that everyone’s experience with wisdom teeth removal is different, and some people have an easy time with minimal swelling and pain after having surgery, regardless of how much pineapple juice they have consumed.
It is also important to note that antibiotics and anti-inflammatory pain medication are often prescribed, further reducing inflammation.
Also, the difficulty and severity of the wisdom teeth surgery have the biggest impact on post-operative inflammation and pain. If the wisdom teeth are under a lot of bone, the more invasive the surgery, and can mean a lot more inflammation than if the wisdom teeth are fully erupted in the mouth.
Always speak to your dental professional or medical doctor before deciding to drink a lot of pineapple juice because it is high in sugar, and it can negatively affect people with diabetes or other medical conditions that need monitoring of blood sugar levels.
The high sugar levels can also negatively affect the healing process at a cellular level, causing inflammation within the cells, preventing oxygen and nutrients from energizing the cells and impeding the immune system. Source.
Magic ingredient: Bromelain
Bromelain is an enzyme that exhibits anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects, potentially reducing post-surgery swelling and pain.
Because of these effects, it boosts the immune system, resulting in a sped-up recovery.
However, you don’t need to drink copious amounts of pineapple juice. You can take bromelain supplements instead. In the study linked below, bromelain supplements effectively reduced swelling and pain.
Taking supplements is not always an option for many people, and drinking pineapple juice can be preferred. In these situations, drinking the pineapple juice may be more desirable.
But how much pineapple juice should you drink, and at what times before surgery?
How to incorporate pineapple juice; pre and post-surgery
From the information and studies I have read, no concrete evidence supports that drinking pineapple juice will help with post-surgery recovery. Instead, bromelain supplements are the better choice. However, if you want to drink pineapple juice before getting your wisdom teeth out, below is the information I have gathered.
- Drink an 8-ounce glass of pineapple juice the night before getting your wisdom teeth out
- Be mindful of the pre-surgery fasting instructions
- Eat pineapple chunks as well
- Make homemade pineapple juice to avoid added sugars and preservatives
The viral trend recommends drinking 64 ounces of pineapple juice the night before having wisdom teeth extracted. However, medical professionals do not recommend drinking more than 8 ounces of pineapple juice daily, which does not include enough bromelain to make a difference in recovery.
If it were me, I would enjoy a nice snack of pineapple chunks the night before and drink plenty of water before starting to fast to ensure I stay hydrated after surgery.
Importance of proper care before and after surgery
The precautions taken before and after getting wisdom teeth extractions can help a lot to speed up recovery, as well as make it more comfortable for you.
- Having a clean mouth before the surgery will reduce the bacterial load in the mouth, helping to reduce the risk of infection.
- Make a plan for your meals and pain management before, so after your surgery, all you have to do is relax and heal.
- After surgery, take all medication as prescribed.
- Monitor healing and look for signs of infection, excessive bleeding, pain, and swelling.
- Rest, rest, rest. Avoid physical exertion, smoking, and alcohol.
- Rinse with salt water, and use the proper recipe (linked below), as the wrong concentration will be ineffective.
- Attend your follow-up appointment.
- Eat the right foods (I go over this in detail below)
What to eat after wisdom teeth surgery
For the first 24 hours, adhere to a liquid diet. After the first day, incorporate soft foods high in antioxidants and probiotics. Fruits such as bananas and mangoes are good choices. Avoid seeds in fruit such as strawberries or raspberries, as the seeds can get stuck in the extraction site.
I put together a comprehensive post about the best foods to eat after tooth extraction; it is linked below.
The vegan-friendly list applies to everyone, regardless of your dietary restrictions. There are many options!
It is important to note that the correlation and what is being seen on social media can just a coincidence. Many people have wisdom teeth surgery and do not have much swelling afterward, and their healing process is quick.
This depends on the procedure’s severity and difficulty, the patient’s age, underlying health conditions, and aftercare.
As a reminder, often, we only hear about the unpleasant stories about wisdom teeth extractions. We often don’t hear people saying how easy it was, how they healed quickly, etc.
I hope this post has given you some insight that what we see on social media is just a snippet of information, and things can be taken out of context. I am grateful that my patient asked me about pineapple juice because it allowed me to learn more about something that I did not know about earlier.
Now, I can talk to my patients to guide them to ask their medical professional if they can take bromelain supplements to aid their recovery.
If you are getting your wisdom teeth out soon, I wish you a speedy recovery with minor inflammation!
Singh, T., More, V., Fatima, U., Karpe, T., Aleem, M. A., & Prameela, J. (2016). Effect of proteolytic enzyme bromelain on pain and swelling after removal of third molars. Journal of International Society of Preventive & Community Dentistry, 6(Suppl 3), S197. https://doi.org/10.4103/2231-0762.197192