Extractions Can I Smoke After Tooth Extraction

Can I Smoke After Tooth Extraction?


As anyone who’s used tobacco can attest, it can be very challenging to quit smoking, even temporarily. Of course, quitting entirely is ideal, but if you’ve had a tooth extracted, it’s absolutely imperative to refrain from smoking or using tobacco for at least 72 hours following a wisdom tooth extraction or any other type of tooth extraction. The toxins and chemicals in cigarette smoke and chewing tobacco can slow healing following an extraction surgery, and they can cause serious, painful complications with extractions like inflammation and dry socket. You’ve probably heard of a dry socket; they’re notoriously painful and universally unpleasant, and you should do everything in your power to keep one from happening. The pain of a dry socket can radiate to the entire side of the face and impede the ability to open your mouth, and the smell of a dry socket is particularly unpleasant. So, the short answer to the question of whether you can smoke after a tooth extraction is no, you can’t.


The healing process following an extraction is slower in smokers, whose blood contains less oxygen. This decreases blood flow and limits the body’s ability to efficiently heal. This is the case whether or not a dry socket forms. Dry sockets develop when the blood clot that forms after a tooth extraction is dislodged. This blood clot protects the extraction site and is the body’s first step toward healing; in order for the site to heal, the blood clot should remain undisturbed for the duration. The suction from smoking, vaping, or even from drinking through a straw, can dislodge the blood clot and leave the tooth socket exposed to the elements, causing excruciating pain. Smoking can also cause the blood clot to dry up or dissolve before the site has fully healed, which could also lead to painful issues. In some cases, dry sockets develop into abscesses, which infect the area around the tooth and can infect the jawbone as well. This can cause swelling and severe pain and could even be life-threatening if the bacteria spreads into the bloodstream.


Many dentists recommend using a tooth extraction as motivation to quit smoking entirely, and for some patients, the brief required break that follows extraction is enough of a catalyst to do so. Dry sockets aren’t the only dental problem that’s caused by smoking. The chemicals in tobacco smoke harm all the tissues of the oral cavity, staining the teeth and increasing the chances of gum disease and tooth decay. Your dentist can give you information about smoking cessation programs and treatments to help you remain a non-smoker after your tooth extraction and help you prevent a future of dental concerns and complications with your oral health and your overall health.


Even if you can’t conceive of quitting entirely, you owe it to yourself to refrain from smoking for the first few days after a tooth extraction. If you’re unsure whether you should believe this, ask someone who’s had a dry socket. Perhaps their report of the intense pain and foul smell in their mouth, along with the added cost and inconvenience of treating a dry socket, will convince you.


Extractions Healing After Tooth Extraction