Smoking cigarettes or vaping regularly is not ideal for your health, and it’s even worse if you are doing it after tooth extraction.
Tooth extraction can be harrowing, and when you smoke, you will delay the healing process by a long shot.
As much as smoking is generally bad for healing the wound in your mouth, heavy smokers can’t imagine going a few hours without tobacco, let alone the number of days the dentist recommends. Read to know how to smoke and not get a dry socket.
Is it okay to smoke after tooth extraction?
No. Smoking after a tooth extraction isn’t a good idea. As much as it is difficult for you to hold off smoking, it will do you more harm than good in this situation.
Why should you not smoke immediately after tooth extraction?
After you have had your tooth/teeth extracted, a blood coat forms over the tooth extraction site.
This blood clot helps keep germs and dirt away from the nerve endings exposed from the extraction, and it also helps it heal quickly.
- Blood coat loss: When you smoke after tooth extraction, the sucking and exhaling action will cause your clot to dislodge, resulting in a dry socket. When you lose your blood clot, not only will this leave your nerve endings exposed, you will also lose the clot, which is supposed to be the foundation of new soft tissue to cover the area.
- Dry socket: Losing a blood clot through inhaling and exhaling cigarette smoke causes a dry socket. Not only does this expose your nerve endings and bones to germs and possible infections, but it is also excruciating and could even prevent you from eating or moving your mouth. A dry socket also causes bad breath.
- Longer healing process: Smoking cigarettes means that it contains tobacco and other additives. When you smoke, there tends to be very little oxygen in your bloodstream. For quick healing, your body requires this oxygen. So it will generally take longer for a smoker to heal after tooth extraction, and it’s even worse if you’ve lost your blood clot.
Smoking is a combination of exhaling and inhaling smoke. During this process, a newly formed blood clot (after tooth extraction) can’t withstand the pressure, and it will dislocate, leaving the nerve endings and bone exposed; this is called a dry socket (alveolar osteitis). It is a painful condition. Smoking usually causes the blood clot to either move, dry, or dissolve.
Smoking after your wisdom teeth have been removed results in the same problems as when any tooth is removed as it is dangerous.
It is not recommended to smoke after your wisdom teeth have been extracted. The pain that results from smoking after teeth extraction could even be worse after wisdom teeth extraction since the wisdom teeth leave more significant wounds.
If you smoke after wisdom teeth removal, you will have a dry socket, and since cigarettes have chemicals in them, smoking will hinder how quickly you heal after your teeth extraction.
If you are willing to hold off smoking for the sake of your health and to save yourself pain from a dry socket, then you should at least wait for 48 hours before you have your first smoke.
If you are strong enough, 72 hours would be an even better time to start smoking again, as everything would have healed perfectly.
Vaping after tooth extraction
Even though vaping is considered a better alternative to smoking, it still requires the same suction procedure one does when smoking.
So, it is something you should avoid because the suction pressure could result in a dry socket which we all now know how painful that can be.
But if you want to vape and not lose your blood clot, you could do it without completely closing your lips around your vaper.
That way, you will still get the steam you desire and not lose your blood clot, hindering your healing process.
Just like smoking after tooth extraction, you need to wait for at least 48 hours before you go back to your vaping thrills.
This way, you give your gums enough time to heal and settle back down. If you can push yourself even more, waiting for 72 hours is a better option.
How to smoke after tooth extraction without getting a dry socket
Now that we know you should not smoke immediately after a tooth extraction, some people don’t care for it and are willing to try out other alternatives of getting the tobacco into their bloodstream.
Here are different ways of smoking after tooth extraction without getting a dry socket:
- Take the opportunity to quit: As difficult as this sounds, having a tooth extraction could be the nicest thing that has occurred to you since you now will have the opportunity to quit smoking which will be better for your general health and oral health.
- Use nicotine patches instead: If you can’t or won’t do without cigarettes, a nicotine patch will offer you the same “high” a cigarette does as you wait for your wound to heal.
- Wait for at least 48 hours after your surgery before you smoke: Since your body needs a bit of time to heal, enjoying other fun activities while you wait for it to heal could be a good distraction. When you resume smoking, inhale gently.
- Ask your dentist to stitch the extraction site: Those stitches will keep your blood clot in place even as you smoke. But it will otherwise take longer to heal since your blood lacks enough oxygen.
- Cover the socket with gauze when smoking: Placing gauze on the extraction site will help you smoke 48 hours after your tooth is extracted. The gauze will help prevent a dry socket.
- Avoid nicotine gum or chewing tobacco: The chemicals from smoking can cause gum disease, and nicotine can slow the healing process. Also, chewing can cause a lot of pressure on your gums and mouth as you try to heal from an extraction.
If you have already decided that you won’t try quitting for a few days to allow the extraction point to heal, here are ways you can prevent a dry socket.
These ways are not assured; the best way to avoid a dry socket is by refraining from smoking.
- Inhale with minimal force
- Place gauze over the extraction area
- Ask your dentist to stitch the extraction site
Smoking is bad for your health both oral and general, and smoking after a tooth extraction isn’t good either. It is best for you to refrain from smoking after tooth extraction as it will slow the healing and cause more pain and problems.
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- Vaping Facts You Need to Know (n.d). hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/5-truths-you-need-to-know-about-vaping.