How Long After Tooth Extraction Can I Smoke (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 3 To 6 Days

Not many people in the world go to a dentist and get an appointment to fix their teeth, but when one does, there are many rules they should follow so that the wounds will not get infected and the healing process will not be interrupted. Some activities are not good even when a person is in full health, let alone during a recovery stage. One such habit is smoking, which is bad for a person’s cardiovascular’s health. There are various reasons why a person visits the dentist, and one reason could be tooth extraction.

Tooth extractions are done for various reasons, like if the tooth is completely decayed and not salvageable and is broken beyond repair. Tooth extraction is where the single tooth or teeth are completely pulled out, and there are some things a person must follow after they undergo tooth extraction. One thing any person should abstain from is smoking immediately after tooth extraction.

How Long After Tooth Extraction Can I Smoke?

Usage of TobaccoTime
The minimum amount of days to abstain from smoking after tooth extraction1 to 2 days
The average amount of days to abstain from smoking after tooth extraction3 to 4 days
The maximum amount of days to abstain from smoking after tooth extraction6 to 7 days

Smoking is very addictive like some people can’t even stop smoking for a day. Some people even smoke a carton of cigarettes. Smoking on a normal day is a danger itself, but after a tooth extraction, it is important. When one smokes immediately after tooth extraction, the major danger the teeth undergoes is dry sockets. Dry sockets happen when one sucks after having a tooth extraction. That’s why dentists advise against using straws right after having a tooth extraction.

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When a tooth is extracted, the nerves underlying the teeth are completely exposed, so when someone smokes or uses a straw, it can cause infections and dry sockets. The nerves will be exposed for at least 24 hours but after that, a blood clot will start forming on the tooth and nerves will be protected. Dry sockets will be formed if the blood clots get dislodged before the tooth extraction is completely healed, or if the blood clot is never formed.

Some signs indicate dry sockets. like extreme pain after extraction of teeth, bad breath, unpleasant taste, visibility of bone in the wound, and much more.

Why Do I Have To Wait That Long Before Smoking After Tooth Extraction?

People get dry sockets even if they are not smoking, like with a bit of food or when the toothbrush hits the wound. A person should abstain from smoking for at least 24 to 48 hours after tooth extraction, and it is better to wait for 3 to 5 days after tooth extraction before smoking. When a person waits for 7 days before smoking, it is really good for the teeth.

Even if the blood clot gets dislodged without smoking, it is better to abstain from smoking before the wound is completely healed because smoking can cause the development of bacteria, and the nicotine can be really dangerous too. After the clot dissolves and the wound heals, the stitches will be removed. Then, it will be safer to smoke, and almost all the tooth extraction wounds heal in about seven to ten days.

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Hence, it is better to smoke after the wound is completely healed, to stay away from any sort of infection. For chain smokers, it will be hard to keep away from smoking for that long, but it is certainly a necessity.

Conclusion

Replacing smoking with vaping, smoking, and hiding the fact from your dentist doesn’t change the results. There are ways to quit smoking completely or ways to stay away from smoking for just ten days. One can try eating something, get counseling or get help from their loved ones.

Even after all the precautions, if one experiences a dry socket, just over-the-counter medicines will not be enough to set them out. Issues with blood clots, any sort of inflammation, or any symptoms of dry sockets must be reported to the dentist.

References

  1. https://journals.lww.com/jcraniofacialsurgery/Fulltext/2014/07000/Technical_Strategies_for_En_Bloc_Resection_and.178.aspx
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0278239106006707

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