A dental appointment for a tooth extraction can be stressful. For smokers, it is even more stressful because of the fact that they must refrain from ‘lighting up’ for a period of time following the oral surgery.
Your dentist will review the precautions with you but before your visit, here are some details to prepare you ahead of time.
When Can You Start Smoking After A Tooth Extraction?
While we don’t endorse smoking at all because of many factors, including the damage it can do to your teeth and gums, we understand that some smokers may struggle with this.
The most critical time frame after your tooth extraction is the first 24 hours. It is recommended that you should actually refrain from smoking for up to 72 hours following oral surgery. This is because smoking slows blood flow and as a result will have an impact on healing. The extraction site needs clotting of the blood in order to begin the healing process.
Smoking after oral surgery is not recommended simply because of the time required for your gum and mouth to heal properly. It may also increase your chances of developing a dry socket when inhaling smoke. A dry socket where the tooth was removed can become very painful and this can also contribute further to the amount of time it takes to heal.
Other Risks Of Smoking After A Tooth Is Pulled
The greatest risk to your health from smoking after tooth extraction comes from how the body absorbs the smoke. As the smoke comes into direct contact with skin (gums, throat) which has no form of protection, you are increasing the risk of developing cancer.
Your dentist should also review your oral history with you and discuss your smoking habits. Smoking also has an effect on healthy teeth. If you find yourself being scheduled for frequent cleanings – more than once every six months – this is likely due to the fact that smoking is not only staining and discolouring your teeth but could be doing other harm to your teeth and gums.
One more consideration to keep in mind: if you are diabetic or on blood thinning medications, your body’s ability to heal itself will already be affected. Smoking soon after a tooth extraction will further complicate the healing process. This is why it is so important to wait up to three days following any kind of oral surgery.
Should You Really Be Smoking After Tooth Extraction?
Knowing the smoking effects on teeth following an extraction can slow down the healing process, you may want to hold off for a little while. If you can wait between 24 and 72 hours before your first cigarette after oral surgery, you will help yourself to heal quicker.
If you are a smoker, make sure that you discuss this thoroughly with our staff to understand how this affects your teeth and recovery when at your next dental appointment in our office.