TikTok Hack Using Juice Before Surgery Actually Works, Says Dentist

When it comes to having your wisdom teeth removed, there's one thing that's almost guaranteed—you will look like a chipmunk for days after, but does it have to be like that? Not according to TikTok.

The app's latest dental-based hack suggests that users can avoid the dreaded days of swelling post-op by downing a whole 64 ounces of pineapple juice the night before.

Sharing pictures taken in the days following surgery, TikTok users appear visibly less swollen than what you would expect. In fact, some have apparently no swelling whatsoever.

TikToker Valeria Greenz, @valeriagreenz, posted her experience trying the hack and gained over 7 million views, sparking a wave of copycat attempts.

Greenz didn't give away a lot of information in the video, but purported to show herself drinking the juice, and images from the day after the surgery, looking completely normal.

@valeriagreenz

If you want to see more check out my new wisdom teeth vlog on YouTube channel @ Valeriagreenz #wisdomteeth #wisdomteethremoval #pinapplejuice

♬ How You Feel? (Freestyle) - DJ Scheme & Danny Towers

Mackenzie Fuhrman was inspired by Greenz' experience, and posted her own video in response. On her account @mack_attack323, she explained that it "took forever" to down the two liters of juice the night before, but that it was ultimately worthwhile.

Explaining that she felt "great," Fuhrman dubbed the trick a "success" after she found herself with no swelling after three days, having suffered only slight swelling anyway.

"I had a very easy recovery," she said in a follow-up video, adding that, though it may not be a miracle cure, it "did help."

Users wouldn't be foolish to approach the trend with caution though, as this is the same app that suggested people shove garlic up their noses. But even dental professionals have agreed that drinking pineapple juice beforehand really can work.

Newsweek spoke to San Diego-based general and cosmetic Dentist Dr. Tina Saw, who also founded at-home oral wellness kit Oral Genome, about the trend and discovered that science actually backs it thanks to the enzyme Bromelain.

"I think pineapple is that magic type of fruit because it has something called Bromelain inside, which is an enzyme and it helps reduce inflammation and helps healing," explained Dr. Saw.

"There's quite a bit of studied on the enzyme Bromelain saying that it reduces the inflammation, and I know when you do wisdom teeth extractions, it's very typical for people to get a lot of swelling and those puffy-like chipmunk cheeks everybody talks about."

Dr. Saw explained that, as suggested in the TikTok videos, a lot of the juice would be needed to have an impact, but that people could expect to notice a difference with even a little less than 64oz.

At first, pineapple may ring alarm bells when it comes to dental health thanks to its acidity, but it shouldn't, said Dr. Saw: "A lot of dentists and professionals will know that acid is bad for your teeth, and a lot of people will think of pineapple as an acidic, high vitamin C type of fruit, and that's absolutely true. But with bromelain, that enzyme, it actually helps to alkalize the mouth, which is really good. So it increases the pH, and it actually helps your teeth."

Although the trend at worst is "pretty harmless," but at best can save days of swelling, there are a few things to keep in mind before testing it. "Just make sure it is something that is sugar free with no added sugars, because if you do have that added sugars, obviously that is bad for your teeth," said Dr. Saw.

In a lot of cases, surgeons will advise patients not to eat past a certain time the night before, and it's important to make sure to drink the pineapple juice before that cutoff too.

"It is a lot of liquid," reasoned Dr. Saw. "It is a lot of vitamin C [too] and drinking too much vitamin C can cause some heartburn, diarrhea and nausea."

For some though, that may be a risk they're willing to take for a potential swell-free healing experience.

Glass of pineapple juice with fruit
Stock image of pineapple and juice. TikTok users have been claiming that drinking pineapple juice before having your wisdom teeth removed prevents swelling. Getty Images