Smoking after tooth extraction: how long to avoid smoking?
You shouldn't smoke for at least 2 hours after the tooth extraction procedure: why?
Cigarette smoke contains not only pure nicotine but also various impurities. All these chemicals have a detrimental effect on human health and the body’s ability to heal.
Why, after tooth extraction, is it worth abstaining from a portion of nicotine only for a while?
After tooth extraction, an open wound forms in its place. This tooth extraction site needs proper care for soft tissue healing and recovery. Dentists advise patients to keep the extraction site at rest, refrain from solid food for a while, and even limit conversations to give the wound time to heal. Nicotine at this moment will act as an irritant, it is advisable to abandon it from 2 hours to 5, depending on the degree of complexity of the tooth extraction surgery.
Why the dentist advises no smoking after tooth extraction
Smoking reduces the body ability to heal and disturb the tooth extraction site with following 3 ways.
Heat of smoke
The healing process requires a normal body temperature. A lot above or below 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit is a big problem. So when you inhale a burning cigarette smoke into your mouth, the temperature in your mouth rises enough above optimum range.
Exposure to excess heat on a tooth extraction wound’s delicately healing blood clot is a major irritant. The heat ignites the already inflamed area of the tooth extraction site. Inflammation not only makes the pain worse but is similar to pouring salt into an open wound. It throws everything back and the body has to work even hard to heal.
Chemicals in smoke
Many of the chemicals in cigarette smoke affect the body locally but also enter the bloodstream. What will happen next? The healing response diminishes.
Smoking reduces the oxygen content in the bloodstream and also has a drying effect on tissues. All this together affects the health of the body and the ability to resume.
Sucking action with smoking
After tooth extraction, a hole remains in the gums for a while. For this hole to heal, blood must fill the area and form a blood clot.
A blood clot forms and stabilizes after tooth extraction in about 48 to 72 hours. If during this time you suck a cigarette, what do you think will happen? A fragile blood clot can easily dislodge.
No blood clots, no healing. We call this a dry socket. It is a painful condition and delays healing until a new blood clot forms. It will need multiple dentist visits and dressings. It is a painful healing process when the blood clot is forced out.
What happens when you smoke after tooth extraction?
Dangers of smoking after tooth extraction
Plain and simple, smoking after tooth extraction delays healing and increases complications. The reason is that heat and chemicals irritate wounds and healing chemistry which dramatically slows down the healing process. Research shows that smoking cigarettes can slow the healing of an extracted tooth twice as long.
Smoking after a tooth extraction is the number 1 risk factor for developing a dry socket. A study has shown that dry sockets occurred in 12 percent of people who smoked after tooth extraction. And those who don’t smoke were having a percentage of 4 for developing dry socket.
The sucking action of smoking is the biggest factor here. The suction, puffing movement created by smoking creates a mini-vacuum effect in the mouth that can dislodge a blood clot.
Removing a tooth without a blood clot cannot heal effectively. Think about if you squeezed the scab off your hand every time it tried to heal. Its mechanical removal of the body's natural scaffolds for healing. Smoking increases the chance of losing the scaffolding that heals tooth extraction.
Long-term history of cigarette smoking weakens our immunity and makes the body more at risk of infection during healing. By avoiding smoking during early recovery, you give your body a chance to catch up when it is most vulnerable to infection.
When can I start smoking after tooth extraction without getting dry socket?
The preferred time to resume smoking after a tooth extraction is 48 to 72 hours. After 72 hours, there is less chance of having a dry socket. However, the longer you wait to resume, the better. The healing site is delicate in the first few days, and the clot takes time to heal and get stronger. Therefore, perfect healing requires at least 3 days after tooth extraction.
I know you're wondering what if I can't resist smoking after a tooth extraction? Trust me, I've seen it all. If you decide to start smoking earlier, do so at your own risk, but I will give you some tips to help prevent unnecessary problems.
One of the biggest factors for creating a dry socket is displacing blood clots from the wound hole with suction forces. Ideally, try to get by and use a nicotine patch or nicotine lozenges to help soothe any cravings. If necessary, try to smoke with minimal effort and absorption. You can try covering the area, while smoking aftr tooth extraction with gauze, but be careful about possible injury to the clot.
The best will be to make the gauze wet and squeeze to avoid clot dislodgement with gauze placement and removal. Dry gauze can suck the jelly-like blood clot from tooth extraction wound during removal especially when it gets pressed.
Ask your Dentist to place stitches on the tooth extraction site after removal. Stitches reduce wound surface area and blood clot dislodgement with smoking will be minimal. However, you may be needing an extra visit to the dentist’s office for stitches removal after a week.
These preventative measures do not guarantee that you will not experience complications like a dry outlet; however, they provide additional protection.
Can I whip after tooth extraction
This still significantly increases the risk of dry socket for many of the above reasons, in particular for the creation of a vaccum-type sucking-action in the mouth. However, this is where vapor fume is slightly beneficial to traditional smoking in terms of exhaust healing, it produces less heat and potentially has fewer chemicals. Although I discourage vapor after tooth extraction, there are some small advantages over traditional smoking.
Smoking after tooth extraction: Bottom line
Okay, let's get to the point. If you are a smoker, you should wait at least 3-4 days to smoke. It is in your best interest to wait. Avoiding smoking after tooth extraction can significantly reduce potential complications and help you recover faster.
How long until I can smoke after tooth extraction?
Depending on how big the wound is caused by the tooth extraction and how good your wound healing ability is, the recommended length of time for abstaining from tobacco varies.
In the best-case scenario, you should not expose your gums to smoke for a week. By then, the superficial wound healing is already well advanced.
At least you should stay away from tobacco for three days. You can survive this time better if you use known methods of smoking cessation.
If you have survived the first tough 24 hours without smoke and nicotine, then you have mastered what is probably the toughest phase. Perhaps you now want to take the opportunity to say goodbye to cigarettes and the like? You are probably already familiar with the health reasons for this.
The same as for cigarettes, pipes, and cigarillo also applies to the use of hookahs. In this case, the risk of infection from sharing a mouthpiece is even higher.
- The effect of cigarette smoking on the severity of pain, swelling and trismus after the surgical extraction of impacted mandibular wisdom tooth
- Effect of smoking on patient-reported postoperative complications following minor oral surgical procedures
- Influence of smoking upon the postoperative course of lower third molar surgery
- The most common complications after wisdom-tooth removal: part 1: a retrospective study of 1,199 cases in the mandible
- Efficacy of different methods used for dry socket prevention and risk factor analysis: A systematic review