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How Long Should I Wait to Smoke After a Tooth Extraction?

If you’ve just had a major tooth extraction, you may be wondering when it is ok to smoke after the procedure? And if you are an avid smoker, even delaying a few hours can be extremely tough. However, it is essential to know that smoking directly after a tooth extraction can nearly double or triple your healing process time. 

Cigarettes are made of chemical toxins that can delay your healing process immensely. Smoking after tooth extraction can also cause some after-surgery complications which can be hard to get over as well. The toxins from the cigarette smoke can cause inflammation of the gums, the smoke can irritate the gums around the extraction site and can cause some pain and swelling (pain that can be avoided by not smoking). Smoking too soon after an extraction can also create a complication called a dry socket. A dry socket can make it difficult to open your mouth, cause intense pain on the whole side of the face as well as expelling an extremely bad smell in the mouth. 

After a tooth extraction, your healing will begin when blood clots start to form to aid in your healing. The act of physically smoking can discharge these blood clots well before they start any form of healing. If blood clots continue to be expelled, the healing time will continue to grow. Expelling blood clots can be avoided by not smoking and also by not drinking from a straw or anything similar. 

When Can I Smoke After a Tooth Extraction?

The above outcomes can all be avoided simply by not smoking after a tooth extraction. However, if you are an avid smoker, you may want to know the safest time-period to wait before having the first cigarette after surgery. Although smoking is never recommended, if it is needed, dental professionals typically suggest you hold off from smoking for at least 72 hours, or three days. This healing time will allow blood clots to form and start the healing process reasonably quickly and it will be harder to disrupt this process after three days. 

Talk to your dental professional about the timing that may be best for you. The minimum wait time usually starts at three days, but it can be longer if you’ve had multiple surgical extractions (like wisdom tooth removal). Follow your dentist's recommendations to ensure the healing process goes smoothly. 

If you have a tooth extracted, this may be the perfect time to kick-start your plan to stop smoking. When you are forced to stay away from smoking for dental reasons, it can be easier to continue to not smoke shortly afterward. If not, be sure to stop for at least the recommended time listed above, or the specific time your dentist recommends. Again, all healing times can be different depending on your body and the amount of surgery performed. Do not allow a cigarette or two to elongate the healing process. Ensure the health of your smile (and of your body) by not smoking after a tooth extraction. 

Contact Renaissance Dental Care today to learn more about our tooth extraction process.

Interested in learning more about tooth extractions in general, like what the healing process is like? Learn More Here >

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