Smoking After Wisdom Teeth Removal

Has your dentist recently told you that you need your wisdom teeth out, and as a smoker you are nervous about your recovery? That is ok! Yes, the wisdom teeth extraction at Downtown Dental Excellence recovery experience may be a little different for smokers, but that doesn’t mean you should avoid having the procedure done at all. The best thing you can do to be prepared for wisdom teeth extraction is just that, be prepared. The first step is being informed of what recovery from extraction will be like and what you can do to make sure your mouth heals quickly and without complications. Below is more information about why you should have your wisdom teeth removed and what recovery will be like for both smokers and nonsmokers.

Why wisdom teeth extraction?

For most, the third set of molars, called wisdom teeth, usually come in when individuals are between 17 and 25 years old. The issue with wisdom teeth is they often come in at an angle or cause crowding of the nearby teeth when they come in. These complications are the reason why dentists recommend most individuals have their wisdom teeth removed. If your dentist recommends extraction, they will have a discussion with you to walk you through the procedure and explain why you may need to have yours removed. The procedure is fairly straight forward and can be performed in just a few hours.

Why is not smoking after the extraction procedure so important?

In general, recovering from a wisdom teeth extraction procedure is uncomfortable for a few days, but not too painful. The doctor will give you tips on icing and pain medication for discomfort, what food to avoid, and most importantly what not to do. The biggest activity to avoid during the recovery period is smoking. Why? There are many reasons to avoid smoking when your mouth is trying to heal. First, cigarettes introduce chemicals into your mouth that can delay the healing process. These chemical toxins can be dangerous to your gum and mouth tissues. Additionally, smoking can lead to potentially serious complications including:

Dry socket: Immediately after a tooth is removed, your tissue will create a blood clot to protect the exposed bone and nerve. Dry sockets is a dangerous condition that is caused when that blood clot is lost and the underlying bone and nerves are exposed. The act of inhaling and exhaling involved in smoking can cause the blood clots to become dislodged. Symptoms of dry sockets include a bad smell and severe pain. Additionally, once the clot is lost it significantly delays the healing process resulting in a longer recovery.

The goal is to avoid smoking for approximately 3 days post procedure to let your mouth heal. If you make it 3 days without developing pain or symptoms of dry socket you may be in the clear and on your way to a healthy recovery. If you choose to smoke during the first 3 days of your recovery and experience inflammation, dry sockets, or issues with blood clots, you should contact your dentist or surgeon immediately.

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