Smoking and tooth extraction

Smoking After A Tooth Extraction
If you are currently a smoker, the idea of a tooth extraction procedure may make you nervous. A tooth extraction procedure and the post-surgery recovery are a bit different for smokers than for non-smokers. However, the differences in the recovery process and timeline for smokers are small, therefore if you need to have a tooth extracted, you really should not delay. Having a tooth extracted may be essential to preserving your oral health. The best steps you can take to make sure your recovery goes smoothly, is to be informed of what the recovery will be like and what instructions you can follow to help your mouth heal as quickly as possible. Below is more information on the extraction procedure recovery process for smokers.

Extraction Procedure Recovery for Smokers
The biggest challenge that extraction procedure poses for smokers is that it is highly recommended to abstain from using tobacco for at least 72 hours, or 3 days, after the procedure. Why is it important to not smoke after the procedure? Smoking cigarettes introduces chemicals into the mouth that can significantly delay the healing process. After the extraction, the gums and tissues are incredibly sensitive for a few days. Exposing these sensitive and healing gums to toxic chemical can delay their healing. Other potentially serious complications that can result from smoking, include:

Dry sockets: A condition called dry sockets can develop when the underlying bone and nerves in a newly extracted tooth socket become exposed. Immediately after a tooth is removed, a blood clot develops to cover and protect the exposed bone and nerve. If this blood clot is dislodged, the bone and nerve will become exposed causing severe pain. Anyone can develop dry sockets post-extraction procedure, but the condition is more common among individuals who smoke post-procedure. You should be aware that symptoms of dry sockets include severe pain and a bad smell in the mouth.

Blood clot loss: The inhaling and exhaling process that is involved in smoking can create additional issues for post-extraction healing. Inhaling or exhaling repeatedly can loosen the blood clots covering the exposed sockets. These blood clots are the foundation of growth for new soft tissue. Losing a blood clot will result in a significant delay the development of new tissue and healing.
It is possible for smokers to be incredibly careful and avoid dry sockets and the loss of blood clots all together. However, even if a smoker avoids dry sockets and loss of blood clots, the toxic chemicals introduced by smoking will still cause a significant delay in healing, resulting in a longer period of discomfort. The goal for individuals who smoke should be to make it 3 days after the extraction procedure without developing pain or the symptoms. After 3 days, it is likely that you are on your way to a healthy recovery. If you smoke during recovery from a tooth extraction and experience inflammation, severe pain, or lose a blood clot, you should contact your dentist immediately.