Can I eat spicy food 10 days after tooth extraction?

Quick Answer

It is generally recommended to avoid spicy foods for 7-10 days after tooth extraction. The spiciness can irritate the extraction site and slow down healing. However, you may be able to tolerate mild spices after 10 days, as long as you feel no pain or discomfort. Check with your dentist to see when they recommend introducing spicy foods.

When Can I Eat Spicy Food After Tooth Extraction?

Here is a general timeline for eating spicy foods after tooth extraction:

  • Days 1-3: Avoid any spicy foods. Stick to a soft, bland diet.
  • Days 4-7: You may be able to tolerate mild spices, but it’s best to avoid anything too spicy.
  • Days 7-10: After a week of healing, you can try slowly reintroducing spicy foods if you feel ready. Start with mild spice and discontinue if you feel any irritation or pain.
  • 10-14 Days: Most patients can tolerate spicy food at this point as long as you ease into it gradually.

Always listen to your body and stop eating spicy foods if you experience any discomfort like pain, swelling or inflammation. Everyone heals differently, so you may be able to introduce spicy foods sooner or you may need to wait longer. When in doubt, ask your dentist when it’s safe for you personally to add spice back to your diet.

Why Spicy Foods Are Discouraged After Oral Surgery

There are a few reasons why spicy foods are discouraged, especially in the first 7-10 days after tooth extraction:

  • Irritation of the extraction site: Capsaicin and other compounds that give spicy foods their heat can irritate the nerves in the area where the tooth was removed. This can cause pain and inflammation.
  • Increased blood flow: Spicy foods make blood vessels expand, which can lead to increased bleeding. Avoiding spice helps limit bleeding and helps the blood clot form during healing.
  • Discomfort from chewing: The motion of chewing can bother a fresh extraction site. Spicy foods that need a lot of chewing can make discomfort worse.
  • Risk of dry socket: Dry socket is a painful complication that can occur when a blood clot dislodges from the socket prematurely. Anything that irritates the site, like spicy foods, increases dry socket risk.

Once the extraction site has begun to heal and is less sensitive, these risks are reduced. That’s why it’s generally safe to add spices back into your diet around 7-10 days after surgery, if you tolerate it well.

Tips for Introducing Spicy Food Slowly

Go slow when adding spicy foods back into your diet after dental surgery. Here are some tips:

  • Start with mild spices and flavors, like black pepper, paprika, ginger, or cinnamon.
  • Mix a small amount of spice into a larger portion of bland food to dilute it.
  • Avoid spices that require a lot of chewing like red pepper flakes or whole dried peppers.
  • Take small bites and chew gently on the side of your mouth away from the extraction site.
  • Rinse your mouth with water if the spice irritates your extraction site.
  • Only take over-the-counter pain medicine if absolutely needed. Don’t depend on it to mask irritation from spicy food.
  • Wait until at least 10 days post-op before trying more intensely spicy foods.
  • Stop eating anything spicy if you feel significant pain or discomfort.

Let your dentist know if spicy foods continue to bother your mouth more than 2 weeks after your tooth was pulled. Persistent sensitivity may be a sign of problems healing.

Foods to Avoid After Tooth Extraction

Along with spicy foods, your dentist may recommend avoiding certain other foods and beverages after tooth extraction while you recover. Common items to stay away from include:

  • Hard, crunchy, or crusty foods that require chewing (like chips, nuts, seeds, toast, pizza crust)
  • Small pieces of food that can get stuck in the socket (like rice, couscous, popcorn)
  • Hard candies or mints
  • Chewy, sticky, or gummy foods (like chewing gum, caramel, taffy)
  • Crunchy fruits and vegetables (like apples, carrots) – stick to soft cooked options
  • Very hot or very cold foods and drinks
  • Carbonated beverages
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Smoking and using tobacco products
  • Drinks with a straw that creates suction

Avoid any food that could disturb or dislodge the blood clot. Stick to a soft diet and lukewarm liquids for the first few days. Slowly add variety back as you recover. But delay spicy foods until your dentist gives the all-clear.

Safe Foods to Eat After Tooth Extraction

Focus on a soft, nutrient-rich diet while healing after tooth extraction. Some good options include:

  • Smoothies, milkshakes, yogurt
  • Soups, broths, pureed vegetables
  • Mashed, steamed, or roasted vegetables
  • Soft, well-cooked eggs
  • Tender fish and ground or shredded meats
  • Cooked cereals like oatmeal, cream of wheat
  • Jell-O, apple sauce, bananas, avocados
  • Protein shakes or meal replacement drinks

Stick to lukewarm or room temperature foods. Season gently with salt, herbs, and very mild spices if desired.

When to Call the Dentist About Diet After Tooth Extraction

Contact your dentist right away if you experience any of the following:

  • Severe pain at the extraction site that medication does not help.
  • Swelling that gets worse instead of better with time.
  • Bleeding that won’t stop or is very heavy.
  • Bad breath, foul taste, or pus coming from the socket.
  • Feeling ill like you have an infection or fever.
  • Numbness or tingling that doesn’t go away.
  • Food, debris, or a broken tooth fragment stuck in the socket.
  • A gum flap or stitch that seems to have come undone.

These may be signs of a problem like dry socket, infection, or another complication that needs dental treatment. Don’t hesitate to call if your condition seems to be getting worse instead of improving within several days of having your tooth extracted.

The Healing Process After Tooth Extraction

Understanding the normal healing timeline after tooth extraction can help you know what to expect and when it should be safe to add spicy food back into your meals:

Days 1-3

You’ll likely have some degree of discomfort, swelling, and bruising for the first few days after having a tooth pulled. Bleeding usually stops within several hours. Restrict your diet to soft foods and avoid anything in the area as it starts to heal. Use ice packs on your face to reduce swelling.

Days 4-7

Pain and swelling should start improving, but may still be present. A blood clot will have formed in the socket. Eat soft nutritious foods and rinse your mouth very gently. Swish warm salt water to help keep the area clean.

1-2 Weeks

You should be able to open your mouth more widely and introduce firmer foods. Swelling has gone down further and pain is minimal. Oral hygiene is important to keep the area clean. The socket starts to fill in with new gum tissue.

2-4 Weeks

Sensitivity at the extraction site continues to decline. Your dentist will want to evaluate healing at a follow-up appointment. You may get the ok to stop irrigating and be able to resume normal brushing. The socket may close completely with new tissue.

1-3 Months

Healing will be complete in most cases. Numbness if present should be resolved. The bone and gums will be healed and you can resume your normal diet. New tooth replacement if needed would begin at this point.

When to Seek Emergency Dental Care

Seek emergency dental care right away if you experience:

  • Bleeding you cannot stop
  • Facial swelling that is sudden or severe
  • Difficulty breathing
  • An allergic reaction to medication
  • Severe pain not relieved by medication
  • A high fever over 101 F

These may be signs of a serious problem like an infection that needs immediate treatment. Don’t hesitate to visit an emergency dentist or urgent care clinic if you have any worrying symptoms that seem severe or life-threatening after having a tooth extracted.


It’s best to avoid spicy foods for at least the first 7-10 days after having a tooth extracted. The spice can irritate the sensitive socket and make healing more difficult and painful. Around 10 days post-op, you can try slowly introducing mild spices if you feel ready. Make sure to start small, go slow, and stop eating anything spicy that causes discomfort. Things like hot sauce or chili peppers should wait for a couple weeks. With patience and by listening to your body during recovery, you can get back to enjoying spicy meals safely after oral surgery. Be sure to ask your dentist when it’s recommended for you personally to add zest back to your diet after a tooth extraction procedure.

Leave a Comment