After oral surgery, it is best to turn to a liquid and soft food diet. There are plenty of foods that you can eat, including protein shakes, smoothies and other drinks. While these types of drinks can help during the recovery from oral surgery, they also present a possible problem. People tend to want to use straws with these drinks and that is something they need to avoid.
The Problems with Straws
One question most patients ask us is why shouldn't they use a straw. It would seem that after oral surgery, a straw is the easiest way to consume the liquids. What they do not realize is the number of ways a straw can cause discomfort and can cause problems after oral surgery.
The first problem we explain to people is that straws are made of a hard material. Straws from plastic, metal or glass could scrape the surgical site and can damage any work that was done. The straws can chip teeth or can break teeth if a person is not careful.
The Problem of Sucking Through a Straw
While it is possible that you could damage a surgical site by scraping it with a straw, there is something that is more dangerous. Sucking on a straw can lead to serious problems, especially after root canal and extraction surgeries. After these surgeries, blood clots form and fill in the hole in the gums and the teeth. Sucking on a straw can cause the clots to dislodge and lead to a condition known as a dry socket. This makes a person susceptible to bacterial growth and infections at the surgical site and can slow down the recovery from oral surgery.
Straws serve a very useful purpose for many people. Young children make less of a mess when they use a straw. It is a convenient way to enjoy a drink and a Slurpee would not be the same without a straw. If you have had oral surgery, you need to accept that the use of a straw will do more harm than good, and you need to put the straws away for a little while.
If you have questions about this or any other oral health issue, contact our office to schedule an appointment.