Can I Smoke After Tooth Extraction?
For most smokers, it can be difficult to temporarily stop tobacco use, even after a tooth extraction. Even if you feel the urge for a cigarette, it is crucial to wait at least 72 hours before smoking after any tooth extraction, including the extraction of wisdom teeth.
There are chemical toxins in cigarette smoke, which will delay the healing after a surgery, and even cause serious complications such as dry socket or inflammation. A dry socket creates an unpleasant smell in the mouth, very intense pain that will spread to the entire side of the face, and a difficulty opening your mouth.
Also, the mechanism of smoke inhalation on a cigarette may dislodge the blood clot newly formed. The clot is the first crucial step in the healing process after a tooth extraction. If dislodged, you can suffer from dry socket.
Why You Should Not Smoke After Tooth Extraction
Smoking cigarettes involves heat from the smoke and many chemicals that will harm teeth, gums, and soft tissue. If you smoke, you are familiar with the effects of staining that smoking has on your teeth, but the damage from smoking can go far below the surface. Another risk of smoking is oral disease. Specifically, after getting a tooth extracted, cigarette smoke will increase the pain at the tooth extraction site. It will also slow down the healing process, leaving you more susceptible to infection and complications.
Blood flow is also a contributing factor when it comes to proper healing. Smoking lowers your blood oxygen level, and the oxygen in the blood is critical for an adequate healing process.
Smoking Will Cause a Dry Socket
There is a direct relationship between smoking and a dry socket. When you get a tooth pulled, part of the natural healing process requires a blood clot to form over the extraction site. This blood clot stops any more blood from exiting the wound, helps protect against infections, and makes sure that your extraction site heals. Stopping any bleeding after a tooth extraction is critical for healthy recovery.
Any disruption to this clot can cause a condition called dry socket. A dry socket is a painful experience, because of the bone beneath the extraction site becoming exposed. It must be treated immediately. Smoking can directly cause a dry socket with the sucking and suctioning action that you use to draw the smoke from the cigarette will also suck the blood clot out of place. The same risk exists drinking through a straw.
How Long Should You wait After a Tooth Extraction Before You Can Smoke
It is strongly recommended that you refrain from smoking for at least 72 hours after you get a tooth extracted. This is the minimal time needed to allow the blood clot to form and to begin the healing process. After this time, it becomes more difficult for the suctioning action of smoking to dislodge the blood clots.
Everyone is different. If you believe that you are going to have a tough time not smoking after getting a tooth pulled, discuss with your dentist to confirm the right timing for you.