Pineapple Juice and Wisdom Teeth Removal Recovery: Fact or Fiction?
If you put stock in the adage that it is best to “believe none of what you hear and believe half of what you see” then what are we to make of medical advice from TikTok users?
While younger generations will swear that the above quote must be from a Baby Boomer, the expression has been around way longer as it has been attributed to Founding Father Benjamin Franklin (18th century) but most likely emanates from an Edgar Allan Poe (19th century) short story.
Whether it was Poe or Franklin, when the saying was coined “tick tock” basically meant the sound your pocket watch was making. Today, TikTok refers to an app with over 1 billion monthly active users, including 138 million in the U.S. – the majority (61.7 percent) who are 29 years or younger.
Wait, Do People Really Seek Advice from TikTok?
Do people really seek advice from TikTok, an app best known for its popular lip synching and dancing videos, some with more than 50 million views?
Yes, it turns out, they do and that is according to a study by Australia’s “Charles Sturt University” with findings published under “TikTok Medical Advice: Would You Turn to Social Media for Treatment?.”
“We’ve all heard of – and maybe even ‘consulted’ – Doctor Google, but there’s a new online diagnostician in town. Doctor TikTok, anyone? As the social media platform’s audience grows, so too does TikTok medical advice,” says the article.
Looking specifically at the #backpain, the researchers found mostly benign medical advice but also found that most of it was not coming from mainstream medical sources with just 6 percent of the TikTok #backpain posts by physicians or physiotherapists.
The vast majority of TikTok medical advice is coming from alternative sources and when it comes to oral surgery, we have had patients ask us about the TikTok medical advice that drinking copious amounts of pineapple juice can help a patient prior to wisdom teeth removal.
TikTok: Pineapple Juice Before Wisdom Teeth
Videos on TikTok about drinking pineapple juice before wisdom teeth removal to help reduce swelling and inflammation from the surgery has been trending with one video racking up more than 10 million views.
Some of the TikTok users are recommending a side-splitting 64 ounces of pineapple juice.
We should note right away, that a serving of pineapple juice is traditionally one cup so 64 ounces is 8 servings and that will set you back more than 1,000 calories along with more than 250 grams of carbs and much more than a spoonful of sugar – 200 grams of sugar or about eight days of the American Heart Association recommended sugar intake for an adult woman.
Drinking that much pineapple juice will provide you with 800 percent of your daily vitamin C requirements, which could actually be too much of a good thing (see below!)
Before we tackle the question of whether pineapple juice does indeed ease inflammation, a word must be said about over-indulging any one food or drink. Your body may not react kindly with MedicineNet saying to watch for the following side effects if consuming a large amount of pineapple juice:
- Some people can develop hives or other allergic symptoms
- High level of vitamin C can irritate your stomach and cause nausea, heartburn and/or diarrhea
- Large amount of sugar can lead to weight gain
There May Be Some Benefit, but Research is Inconclusive
This article has gone on longer than your average TikTok video, so we have to ask, what do medical professionals think about the benefits of pineapple juice before wisdom teeth removal?
The answer is mixed: in other words, the jury is still out.
There is an argument for pineapple juice helping with inflammation because it contains high levels of the enzyme bromelain which has anti-inflammatory effects including the reduction of swelling.
The Today Show asked medical professionals and found this reaction:
- Dr. Brittany Seymour, spokesperson for the American Dental Association: “It’s hard to say if there’s any true scientific connection behind pineapple juice and (having) a better experience with wisdom teeth extraction.”
- Samantha Cassettty, registered dietitian said there have been “some small studies demonstrating” an anti-inflammatory effect from bromelain supplements but said that at the same time there have been studies “showing no effects.”
Seymour also pointed out that there are different factors, such as the health of your teeth, and other health conditions, that can affect how a person recovers after wisdom teeth surgery.
So, while the verdict is still out on the benefits of pineapple juice before wisdom teeth surgery, everyone interviewed stressed the importance of consulting your dentist and/or oral surgeon prior to your surgery for professional advice.
Managing Your Pain After Wisdom Teeth Removal
Wisdom teeth removal at Northwest Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery is done in most cases under general anesthesia and the doctors work with patients to manage their post-surgery pain and swelling discomfort.
The pain management philosophy at Norwest Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery is a conservative approach with patients encouraged to take over-the-counter analgesics such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen instead of opioid pain medications.
In the cases where opioid pain medication is appropriate, a limited prescription will be given.
The practice also offers a long-term local anesthetic, Exparel, which is injected at the surgical site intra-operatively and has numbing effects that last up to 72 hours. Although not covered by most dental insurance plans, Exparel can be a good alternative to traditional pain management.
Whatever you choose, discuss your post-op pain management plans with your doctor – and any plans to drink pineapple juice! – prior to any surgery.
Contact Northwest Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery today to consider all of your options.