Can I Smoke After Tooth Extraction

It can be incredibly challenging for smokers to stop using tobacco, even following a surgical procedure in their mouth. It is critical for patients to wait at least 72 hours prior to smoking a cigarette following a tooth extraction. This also includes when the wisdom teeth are extracted.

Numerous complications can occur when a patient chooses to smoke after a tooth is extracted. The mouth is sore, delicate and it is important to follow the dentist’s precautions. Once the procedure is complete, a blood clot will form in the empty space. Special cells called fibroblasts, plays a vital role in healing process. When the fibroblasts generate, it prompts the body to start forming new bone. When patients smoke, it often prohibits the body’s natural healing response.

Smoking often causes an increase in the patient’s blood pressure, which can lead to dizziness and bleeding. It may also result in extreme pain or throbbing at the extraction site as tobacco causes immediate damage to the cells. The blood of a smoker contains carbon monoxide which reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients being delivered to the tissue around the wound. This directly and negatively interferes with the healing process. These reduced oxygen levels can cause pain and increase the patient’s risk for an infection. Perhaps one of the greatest risks is the formation of a dry socket at the site of the extraction. The sucking action which is used when a patient smokes has the potential to dislodge the blood clot.

The following complications are possible with tooth extractions:
* Dizziness
* Dry socket
* High blood pressure
* Infection
* Prolonged healing

A dry socket is one of the most painful complications which can occur after a tooth is extracted. Dry sockets, which are also called alveolar osteitis, cause an extreme amount of pain at the extraction site and can also delay the natural healing process. When a tooth is removed, it leaves a socket or hole in the bone. After a tooth is extracted, the body forms a blood clot in the socket. This protects the nerves from infection. In some cases, the clot breaks down exposing the bone and nerve. This results in the immediate development of an infection which can result in a dry socket. It is possible for a dry socket to last for up to a week.

The following can help avoid developing a dry socket:

* Do not drink from a straw
* Do not smoke
* Maintain good oral hygiene

Before smoking, patients should wait at least a day following the extraction of a tooth. In order to minimize the risk of developing a dry socket, patients should wait at least 72 hours before smoking. Smoking can delay the healing process and cause complications. In order for the healing process to being, a blood clot needs to form at the extraction site. When the patients is not able to wait to smoke, they should rinse their mouth with warm salt water. It is also helpful to gently rinse the mouth out after eating and drinking. This aids in reducing the risk for complications and the development of a dry socket.

Patients should work diligently to avoid smoking for at least three to four days after a tooth extraction. Doing so will greatly reduce the risk of experiencing painful complications. Smoking should be avoided until there are signs of initial healing. While the modification of habits and activities can be frustrating, it should be done to avoid painful complications and to expedite the healing process.

Wisdom Tooth Extraction