Can I Smoke After A Tooth Extraction? | Preventing Dry Socket

Smoking After Tooth Extraction
6 min read
(Last Updated On: May 16, 2021)

Smoking and Alcoholism has always been detrimental to health. Even though everyone knows this fact, some people can’t manage to leave it for their wellness. 

Still, there are some instances where even alcoholics and smokers are also forced to think. Is smoking after tooth extraction safe? Or, Is alcohol after tooth extraction safe?

As we already covered “Alcohol After Tooth Extraction” in our previous article (where I also gave you some bonus), now it’s time for the smoking part.

Is smoking dangerous after dental surgery? Or, is it completely safe? How to smoke just after tooth extraction? Why is smoking after tooth surgery dangerous?

Above were a few questions that provide a glimpse of what you will learn in this article. Excited!! Let’s dive in.

Is Smoking After Tooth Extraction Dangerous?

Just like alcohol, smoking is also dangerous if you go for it just after tooth extraction. Consequently, you may face a dry socket (a condition in which the empty socket gets inflamed). 

The primary reason for why it happens is due to the dislodging of the clot formed at the site of extraction. 

Still stuck with why dry sockets develop if you smoke after tooth extraction? We have covered it in greater detail in the following section.

When Can I Smoke After Tooth Extraction?

Keeping everything aside, the question which comes next is: After how much time can you continue smoking?. Well, a normal clot takes 24-96 hours to recover fully (Trusted Source).

 So, as a general rule of thumb, you must quit smoking for at least 72 hours after having a tooth extraction (or any dental surgery).

Is there something you can do within 72 hrs to overcome your temptations? Yes, of course, there are ways to help you. These ways would get covered under another following section.

Let’s cover why smoking is restricted after having a tooth extraction.

  Also Read: Detailed Comparison between veneers and crowns

Why Shouldn’t You Smoke After Tooth Extraction?

As you already know that getting dry is the primary reason (satisfactory enough) to quit smoking after dental surgery. Still, the list doesn’t end here. 

There are a few more reasons you should keep in mind before you think of following your urge to smoking. 

1. Dry Socket 

You are aware of it? Probably not. As dry socket is a vast topic in itself. Let’s learn the key points of it.

Dry socket is a postoperative complication of tooth extraction in which the alveolar bone (maxilla or mandible) gets inflamed. 

Why do dry sockets generally take place? After tooth pulling, a clot develops at the site. This clot helps you with faster recovery. 

But if due to some reason, this clot gets dislodged, a dry socket takes place. The reason could be many like:

  • Sucking action during smoking
  • Sucking with a straw 
  • Taking alcohol 
  • Pre-existing oral infection
  • Menstrual cycle 

And some more (not much prevalent). Thus, quitting smoking during the recovery period is the only way to prevent dry sockets from developing at the site. 

2. Delay In Healing Process

ADA (American Dental Association) says that smoking after tooth extraction directly correlates with delay in the healing process.

The heat and chemicals contained in smoke have worse impacts on your empty socket. 

They may stain the entire area and increase risks of oral disease (like oral cancer, oral manifestation, and other oral complications)

Another way smoking delays the healing process is by decreasing oxygen content in your bloodstream. This, in turn, doesn’t supply enough needed oxygen to your socket (from where the tooth was pulled out), resulting in delayed healing.

Mayo Clinic also evidences that smoking after tooth extraction causes delayed healing.

3. Dizziness

While you smoke, it raises your blood pressure. This increase in blood pressure may lead to bleeding and dizziness. 

It happens because tobacco starts damaging your newly developing tissue (at the site of extraction) immediately, leading to bleeding. 

So, you need to be super careful about that.

Dizziness is a common issue reported among individuals who smoke just after tooth extraction. 

If you are a non-smoker and still feel dizzy after getting your tooth extracted, then you may recover just by sleeping a couple of hours.

   Also Read: Cosmetic Gum Surgery Explained

How Can You Smoke And Not Get Dry Socket?

Quitting smoking is still the best thing you can do to prevent dry socket risk. Still, some might not be interested in putting a complete stop to smoking till 72 hrs (3 days). 

So, here are some tips which can help you fulfill your urge to smoke along with keeping dry socket away!!

1. Relying on Nicotine Patch

Nicotine is a chemical substance found in tobacco that makes you addicted to smoking. The latest development in NRTs (nicotine replacement therapies) is nicotine patches.

Nicotine patches are transdermal patches that release nicotine through your skin into your body. These patches also have the same effect as that of nicotine (i.e., releases dopamine into your brain). 

So, a nicotine patch could be a good go-to option if you can restrain yourself from smoking. Let’s have a look at the doses.

If you are in the habit of smoking 10 cigarettes a day, you should have a nicotine patch of 21 mg strength. 

If you smoke 10 or less than 10 cigarettes a day, you should have a nicotine patch of 14 mg or 7 mg. 

Always keep in mind, do not use more than 1 patch in a day.

2. Getting Extraction Site Stitched

Asking your dentist to get your tooth extraction site stitched can also help prevent dry socket to some extent. 

But remember, even if you start to smoke just after tooth extraction, don’t do it heavily/frequently. 

This may prove fatal for your extraction site and, of course, for your overall health.

3. Using A Gauze While Smoking

Placing a gauze at the site while smoking can also help you cut the risk of a dry socket.

Just remember to use a new piece of gauze every time you smoke.

That’s all you can do to avoid the risk of getting a dry socket while you smoke after tooth extraction. 

The Bottom Line

Let’s wrap up this article with a few tooth extraction aftercare tips.

Must remember to quit smoking till 72 hours of your tooth extraction. (If it’s uncontrollable, follow the tips discussed above.)

Ensure not to suck anything, as sucking action may prove fatal during your recovery period.

Do not prevent yourself from consulting your dentist if you feel pain at the extraction site, bad breath, or swollen lymph nodes.

That’s all. Follow these aftercare tips for smooth recovery as they are a must.

Still left with any query regarding smoking after tooth extraction? 

Leave a comment below. We will assist you with the best expert advice possible.

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