Weight Loss After Wisdom Teeth Removal: 4 Reasons Decoded (2024)

Posted by: Noor Fatima
Last Updated: 27 December 2023

Have you ever wondered if there’s a connection between wisdom teeth removal and weight loss?

This intriguing topic has sparked curiosity among many individuals who have undergone this common dental procedure.

In this blog post, we’ll delve into the science behind this phenomenon, exploring why some people may experience weight loss after wisdom teeth removal and the factors contributing to it.

Whether you’re preparing for a wisdom teeth removal or simply interested in the topic, this post will provide you with insightful information backed by research studies.

Let’s dive in and unravel this dental mystery!

Understanding Wisdom Tooth Removal

Wisdom tooth removal is a common dental procedure, but many people are unaware of the specifics of why and how it is done. Let’s shed light on this common dental practice.

What Are Wisdom Teeth?

Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, are the last set of molars to emerge in the mouth, typically appearing between the ages of 17 and 25. (1) They are located at the very back of the mouth and are part of a complete set of 32 adult teeth. However, not everyone develops wisdom teeth, and for those who do, these teeth can sometimes cause dental issues due to limited space in the jaw. (2)

Reasons for Wisdom Tooth Removal

Wisdom teeth may need to be removed for several reasons. Common issues include pain, repeated infection of soft tissue, fluid-filled sacs (cysts), tumors, damage to nearby teeth, gum disease, and widespread tooth decay. (3) (4) Impacted wisdom teeth, which do not have enough room to emerge properly, can lead to inflammation, infection, and damage to adjacent teeth. (5)

The Process of Wisdom Tooth Extraction

The extraction of wisdom teeth can be performed by a dentist or a specialist surgeon. The procedure typically involves administering a local anesthetic to numb the area. If the tooth has not fully emerged through the gum, an incision may be made to access it. In some cases, a small piece of bone covering the tooth may need to be removed, and the tooth may be cut into smaller parts for easier removal. (6)

Dissolving stitches are often used to seal the gum if an incision is made. The recovery time after wisdom teeth removal usually takes one to two weeks. (7).

Weight Loss After Wisdom Teeth Removal

Wisdom teeth removal can inadvertently lead to weight loss. This phenomenon primarily occurs due to the post-operative care and dietary restrictions that are essential for healing.

After the removal of wisdom teeth, patients often experience discomfort and swelling, making it challenging to consume their usual diet, especially foods that are hard, chewy, or require significant chewing.

A study published in the National Journal of Maxillofacial Surgery highlights that postoperative instructions typically include a soft or liquid diet to prevent irritation or infection at the surgical site (8). This temporary shift to softer, less calorie-dense foods can result in a decrease in overall caloric intake, contributing to weight loss.

Another study published in Dental Update by the National Library of Medicine noted a significant decrease in energy intake after the extraction of third molars, which had not been corrected even a week after surgery. This suggests that the dietary intake is indeed affected post-surgery, potentially leading to weight loss. (9)

The Link Between Wisdom Teeth Removal and Weight Loss: 4 Causes Explained

Wisdom teeth removal typically involves surgical extraction which means your body undergoes a healing process afterward. This healing process can influence your eating habits, leading to temporary weight loss. Here are a few reasons why:

Swelling and Discomfort

After wisdom tooth removal, it’s common to experience swelling and discomfort in the oral cavity. This can make chewing and swallowing difficult, causing individuals to opt for softer or liquid-based foods. As a result, the overall caloric intake may decrease, leading to weight loss.

Limited Dietary Choices

During the recovery period, dentists often recommend avoiding certain foods that might hinder the healing process, such as spicy or hard-to-chew foods. This limitation in dietary choices can further contribute to weight loss.

Temporary Decrease in Appetite

The stress, discomfort, and pain associated with wisdom teeth removal can lead to a temporary loss of appetite. This reduced desire to eat can result in a significant decrease in calorie intake, ultimately causing weight loss.

Medication Effects

Pain medication prescribed after wisdom teeth removal can cause nausea or loss of appetite. This, in turn, may affect your dietary intake and lead to weight loss.

The Impact of Wisdom Teeth Removal on Diet

Wisdom teeth removal brings crucial impact on overall lifestyle. Following are some factors regarding diet and nutrition.

Changes in Eating Habits

One of the main reasons for weight loss after wisdom teeth removal is the temporary alteration of eating habits. Many patients tend to avoid hard, crunchy, or chewy foods during the recovery period, opting for soft and liquid-based meals instead. As a result, it leads to weight loss.

Reduced Appetite

The physical discomfort and pain experienced after the extraction can reduce a patient’s desire to eat. Additionally, the medications prescribed for pain management can have side effects that further suppress appetite, contributing to weight loss.

Limited Ability to Chew

During the recovery period, patients may find it challenging to chew food properly due to pain and swelling. This limited ability to chew can discourage individuals from consuming large portions of solid foods, further impacting their overall calorie intake.

Tips for Managing Weight Loss and Nutrition Post-Wisdom Teeth Removal

Here are some tips for managing weight loss after wisdom teeth extraction.

Focus on Nutrient-rich Foods

While it’s normal to opt for soft and easily consumed foods during the recovery period, it’s essential to ensure these meals are nutrient-rich. Incorporate foods like mashed potatoes, yogurt, smoothies, soups, and scrambled eggs that provide vitamins, minerals, and essential nutrients.

Hydration is Key

Keeping yourself properly hydrated aids in the healing process and helps prevent excessive weight loss. If drinking plain water is painful, try sipping on warm herbal teas, consuming homemade fruit juices, or incorporating hydrating foods such as watermelon or cucumber into your diet.

A Balanced Diet is Essential

While you may be limited to soft foods, it’s crucial to maintain a balanced diet during the recovery period. Include a variety of food groups, such as lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and dairy products, to ensure you meet your nutritional needs.

Avoid Excessive Sugar Intake

During the recovery period, it’s imperative to minimize excessive sugar intake. Opt for sugar-free options when choosing beverages or snacks to prevent unnecessary calories and protect your oral health. There’re many reasons that casual energy drinks after tooth extraction may be harmful.

Mindful Eating

After wisdom teeth removal, it’s crucial to eat mindfully to aid digestion and prevent overeating. Take the time to chew slowly and savor each bite. This allows your body to recognize when it’s full, reducing the chances of unnecessary calorie intake.

Short vs Long Term Effects on Weight Loss

Removing wisdom teeth can have short-term and long-term effects on various aspects of health, including weight.

Here are some considerations:


Short-Term Effects

  • Immediate Weight Loss: After the removal of wisdom teeth, individuals may experience some weight loss in the short term. This is primarily due to factors such as reduced appetite and difficulty eating solid foods during the initial days of recovery.
  • Fluid Retention: Some people may experience temporary fluid retention or swelling in the face and jaw following the surgery. This can contribute to a perceived increase in weight, but it is typically a temporary effect.
  • Dietary Changes: Staying to a softer diet during recovery may result in a temporary shift in food choices. This can impact calorie intake and nutritional balance but is usually short-lived.

Long-Term Effects

  • Dietary Adjustments: In the long term, individuals may need to adjust their diet to accommodate any permanent changes in chewing function. This could potentially impact eating habits, but the effect on weight will likely vary from person to person.
  • Improved Oral Health: Wisdom tooth removal is often performed to prevent or address dental issues. Better oral health can indirectly contribute to overall well-being, potentially influencing factors like dietary choices and nutritional intake.
  • Individual Variability: People may respond differently to the removal of wisdom teeth. While some individuals might experience minimal changes in eating habits and weight, others may find it more challenging to adapt, leading to potential fluctuations in weight over time.
Wisdom Teeth Extraction Infographic - Because Your Health Matters

Image Source: Reddit

FAQs about Weight Loss After Wisdom Tooth Removal

Is It Normal to Lose Weight after Wisdom Tooth Removal?

It is purely normal to experience temporary weight loss following wisdom tooth removal. This change is often due to reduced calorie intake and alterations in diet during the recovery period. Post-surgery, patients might face challenges in consuming their usual diet, leading to a reliance on softer, less calorie-dense foods.

Additionally, the body’s response to dental surgery, including inflammation and appetite changes, can contribute to this weight fluctuation. However, this weight loss is typically short-lived, and normal eating patterns and body weight are usually restored once the recovery process is complete.

Do You Lose Weight After Wisdom Teeth Removal?

Weight loss after wisdom teeth removal is not a direct or guaranteed outcome of the procedure. However, some individuals may experience a temporary decrease in appetite or difficulty eating during the initial days following the extraction. This can be attributed to factors such as pain, swelling, and the need to modify one’s diet to soft or liquid foods during recovery.

It’s essential to maintain proper nutrition and stay hydrated during the recovery process. If you find it challenging to eat solid foods, consider incorporating nutrient-dense liquids and soft foods into your diet, such as smoothies, soups, yoghurt, and mashed vegetables.

How Much Weight Do You Lose After Wisdom Teeth Removal?

Weight loss after wisdom teeth removal is generally temporary and can vary from person to person. The amount of weight lost is typically due to factors such as difficulty eating, changes in appetite, and swelling in the initial days following the surgery.

Some common reasons for weight loss after wisdom teeth removal include:

  • Inflammation
  • Discomfort and Soreness
  • Altered Dietary Preferences
  • Loss of Fluids
  • Decreased Appetite
  • Preference for Soft Foods
  • Shift in Eating Patterns
  • Initial Reluctance to Consume Meals

Why Am I Losing Weight After Wisdom Tooth Extraction?

Following are some of the reasons:

  • Reduced Calorie Intake: Post-extraction, you may consume fewer calories due to difficulty eating solid foods.
  • Liquid Diet Preference: Initially, a liquid diet is recommended, which is typically lower in calories.
  • Appetite Decrease: The surgery and recovery process can temporarily reduce your appetite.
  • Short-Term Fluctuation: Weight loss might be a short-term fluctuation due to dietary changes and healing.
  • Jawbone and Facial Changes: Some believe the shrinking of the jawbone post-extraction may contribute to facial fat loss.
  • Overall Health Improvement: Improved oral health can indirectly influence your overall well-being and metabolism.

Can Wisdom Teeth Removal Cause Weight Loss?

Wisdom teeth removal is not a direct cause of weight loss. Weight loss may occur if there are complications or difficulties in eating following the procedure, but this is not a common or direct result of the removal. If you experience significant weight loss after wisdom teeth removal, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the underlying cause.

How to Not Lose Weight After Wisdom Teeth Removal?

Maintaining a stable weight after wisdom teeth removal is essential for proper healing and overall health. Here are some tips to help you avoid unintentional weight loss during this period:

Choose Nutrient-Dense Foods:

Opt for soft, nutrient-dense foods that provide essential vitamins and minerals. Examples include yoghurt, smoothies, soups, mashed potatoes, and pureed vegetables.

Frequent Small Meals:

Instead of large meals, consider having smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day. This can help you consume enough calories without feeling overwhelmed.

Protein-Rich Foods:

Include protein-rich food items in your diet to support muscle maintenance and recovery. Soft protein sources include eggs, tofu, yoghurt, and protein shakes.

Key Takeaways: Weight Loss After Wisdom Teeth Extraction

In conclusion, weight loss after wisdom teeth removal is a phenomenon that can be attributed to dietary changes and the recovery process. While temporary weight loss may occur due to reduced calorie intake and difficulty eating, it’s essential to maintain a balanced diet during recovery to support overall health.

Remember, wisdom teeth removal is not a recommended or effective method for intentional weight loss. Instead, focus on maintaining a healthy diet and consulting with healthcare providers for guidance on managing weight during the recovery process.

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Sources & References

  1. What You Should Know About Wisdom Teeth; WebMD
  2. Wisdom Teeth; Cleveland Clinic
  3. Wisdom teeth removal: When is it necessary?; Mayo Cinic
  4. Wisdom tooth removal ; NHS.UK
  5. Wisdom teeth; Better Health Channel
  6. How it’s performed – Wisdom tooth removal; NHS.UK
  7. Wisdom Teeth Removal; Cleveland Clinic
  8. Giridhar VU. Role of nutrition in oral and maxillofacial surgery patients. Natl J Maxillofac Surg. 2016 Jan-Jun;7(1):3-9. doi: 10.4103/0975-5950.196146. PMID: 28163471; PMCID: PMC5242071.
  9. Adams G, Wood GD, Hackett AF. Dietary intake and the extraction of third molars: a potential problem. Dent Update. 1996 Jan-Feb;23(1):31-4. PMID: 8948220.