Can I smoke After a Tooth Extraction?

For many individuals, having a tooth extracted involves a few days of pain and swelling, followed by the discomfort of having a missing tooth. For smokers, the valparaiso dental extraction experience can be a little more difficult to navigate. If your dentist has told you recently you need to have a tooth extracted and you are a regular smoker, you will want to discuss with them what this means for you. Your dentist will recommend that you temporarily stop using tobacco after the procedure. These instructions usually involve recommendations to abstain from using tobacco for at least 72 hours, or 3 days, after the extraction procedure. If your dentist has suggested a tooth extraction procedure it is important to be prepared for the recovery process, including understanding how to maintain a healthy and clean mouth that will ensure a quicker recovery. Taking a break from smoking and tobacco use for a short period of time will aid in a quicker complication-free recovery.

Why is not smoking after a tooth extraction so important?

When you smoke cigarettes, it introduces chemicals into your mouth that can delay the healing process. These chemical toxins can be dangerous to your gum and mouth tissues that are in a sensitive state. Exposing your healing gums to these toxins can lead to potentially serious complications including:

  • Dry socket: Dry socket is a fairly dangerous condition that is the result of the exposure of the underlying bone and nerves when a tooth is removed. Immediately after a tooth is removed, your tissue generates a blood clot to protect this bone and nerve. Symptoms of dry sockets include a bad smell and severe pain that can spread across the entire side of the face. If the extraction site becomes swollen and inflamed and is painful it can be worse when you are trying to eat and drink beverages. In most cases, dry sockets develop 1-3 days after the extraction procedure.
  • Blood clot loss: In addition to the potential for dry sockets, the process of inhaling air while smoking can create additional issues. The forming of blood clots is the first step in the healing process to protect the bone and nerves that have been recently exposed during the extraction procedure. If a blood clot comes loose it can also end up leading to dry socket. Inhaling or exhaling repeatedly can lead to the loosening of the fragile blood clots. The blood clot serves as a protective layer covering the bone and nerve endings and is also the foundation of growth for new soft tissue in the socket.

If you make it 3 days after the extraction procedure without developing the pain or symptoms described above, you may be in the clear and on your way to a healthy recovery. If you choose to smoke during your recovery and experience inflammation, dry sockets, or issues with blood clots, you should contact your dentist or surgeon immediately. The available over-the-counter medications may not be able to sufficiently treat these conditions and additional treatment may be necessary.

More on Tooth Extraction : Wisdom Tooth Extractions

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