Smokers today are well aware of the risks that smoking poses to their health. This is particularly true for the immediate parts of the body that come into contact with smoke, such as your mouth, teeth, and nails. The truth is, smoking can cause lots of issues with your oral health, and the likelihood of needing a dental procedure during your life increases significantly. So if you’re wondering when you can smoke after a tooth extraction, read on to find out.
This post will look at how a tooth extraction affects your mouth, the recovery process, and how smoking can affect it.
What Happens After A Tooth Extraction?
After your tooth extraction is complete, the surgical area needs time to heal and recover. There are several side effects of the healing process, including some swelling, tenderness, and soreness in the area. You might also experience pain, especially as the anesthetic wears off. Some bleeding is also common.
The critical step in the healing process is the formation of a blood clot over the extracted tooth area. This blood clot covers the area and allows the tissues underneath to heal. It’s important to let this process happen for optimal recovery.
So, When Can I Smoke?
It might be difficult not to reach for a cigarette after your procedure, but you must not do it until your mouth has healed sufficiently.
Smoking too soon after tooth extraction can cause the blood clot to dislodge from the sucking and puffing forces of smoking a cigarette. This can lead to a painful condition known as dry socket, where the underlying bone is exposed. The toxic gases and compounds present in cigarettes can exacerbate this pain.
Even in the absence of any dramatic side effects, cigarette smoke is poisonous to the body, and nicotine will constrict blood flow to the tissues that require it the most. This may prolong the healing process and even cause unforeseen complications. You might even require another visit to the dentist; it is statistically likely for smokers vs. non-smokers.
If you must smoke, you can do so no less than a week after your extraction. This will ensure that the clot has had time to heal and the tissues in the mouth can withstand the forces involved in puffing a cigarette.
The Bottom Line: Making Healthy Choices
If you’ve just had a tooth extraction, you should take this time to consider dropping the habit altogether. Researchers suggest that about nine years after you quit smoking, your risk of needing another dental procedure decreases to that of a non-smoker. Quitting smoking can lead to dramatic improvements to your health, and the longer you stay smoke-free, the greater the benefits. You should contact a qualified oral specialist if you have any questions.
Pearl Dentistry offers the highest-quality dental treatments with a caring approach focused on listening to the needs of our patients. We put your needs and comfort first, all while utilizing the latest in gum treatment techniques. For any questions or to schedule an appointment or consultation, contact us at (713) 766-4389.