Can I Smoke After Tooth Extraction

The fast and easy answer to this question is not right away. The longer you can delay smoking after an extraction, the better for your healing process and the less likely you will disrupt the wound. While it is understandably very difficult for tobacco users to quit in normal circumstances, having to quit after an extraction is more uncomfortable. Without the consistent stream of nicotine your body is used to, your nerves will be on edge. But the risks that smoking pose on the extraction site and its healing are even more problematic. Smoking a cigarette or using an electronic cigarette may not appear to be actions that are taxing on your mouth, but the repeated inhaling and exhaling actions are troublesome to the wound in your mouth.


The sucking action on the cigarette to bring the smoke or vapor into your mouth is the first problem. The suction from smoking or even using a straw can dislodge the blood clot that formed in the wound. The blood clot keeps the wound moist and protected from infection; without the blood clot, the wound is open to drying out and infection. A dry socket can cause sharp pain in your mouth and infections after extractions are dangerous because they can easily travel to more parts of your body. Open wounds in your mouth without blood clots can lead to bad breath and persistent bad tastes in your mouth.


The exhaling of the cigarette smoke or vapor is another fast way to dislodge the blood clot and experience a dry socket. Not only is the dry socket a feeling you want to avoid having, but it will slow the healing process. The pain from the dry socket is sharp and will move from the wound to the jaw and up the side of your face. Even opening and closing your mouth with a dry socket can be painful.


Because smoking is not just inhaling and exhaling regular air, the exposure to added chemicals and toxins are not conducive to healing. The stimulant nicotine will increase blood flow and may result in more bleeding. The increased blood flow will also lead to more inflammation. Finally, nicotine does not allow the body to carry oxygen in the blood the way it normally would, slowing the healing process again.


You already know that smoking is not a good choice for your overall health as well as your dental health, but it is really problematic after a tooth extraction. If you have had multiple teeth removed, as in the case of wisdom teeth, it is even more important to pause that habit. Be sure that the dentist knows about your nicotine use before your oral surgery so the dentist can anticipate the side effects. The minimum amount of time you want to wait before smoking again after your extraction is 72 hours or three days. And with this three day head start, you may be ready to quit for good.


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