If you are a smoker, then it can be very tempting to light a cigarette after a stressful event, such as an important work meeting. And, if you are not particularly fond of the dentist, you may be even more inclined to smoke after a more complex procedure like a tooth extraction.
But, is that a good idea? Is it OK to smoke after a tooth extraction?
The short answer is no and we'll explain immediately why you should abstain yourself while the extraction site is healing.
If the tooth has properly erupted, then the dentist will simply pull it out of its cavity. But, if the tooth is impacted, then you might need minor surgery for the dentist to be able to extract the tooth.
Either way, you will experience some bleeding, which is normal and quite important in the healing process. After the tooth has been extracted, the dentist will ask you to bite gently on a gauze. That will promote the formation of a blood clot, a very important part of the healing process.
Smoking after tooth extraction can cause more than just one problem. Firstly, the act of inhaling the smoke can dislodge the blood clot. And, as we've mentioned, the blood clot plays an essential role in ensuring the extraction site will heal properly. If the clot gets dislodged, then you may experience a painful condition known as dry socket.
Smoking can also lead to inflammation and that can increase the risk of infection. And, because smoking affects blood and oxygen supply to the extraction site, it may take longer for you to heal.
It usually takes between a week and ten days for the extraction site to heal, depending on the severity of the procedure. If the tooth was impacted, then the healing period may be a bit longer. It's best to avoid smoking during this period and especially immediately during the first 24 to 48 hours after the extraction when the blood clot is forming.
In addition to not smoking, you should also avoid eating hard or chewy foods, hot beverages, and alcohol to speed up the recovery process. Also, eat on the other side of the mouth so that food debris doesn't get stuck in the extraction site.
Some minor pain and discomfort are to be expected after the extraction. But, if you start feeling sharp pain that radiates from the extraction site toward the ear, then you should get in touch with your dentist immediately. You may be experiencing a dry socket or some food particles may be stuck in the extraction site, fermenting.
At St. Clair Tooth Co., you will find a modern, warm, and friendly environment where you can rest assured that you will receive top-notch dental treatment. Schedule your appointment online today!