No one wants to go through a tooth extraction. But, the relief from removing a problematic tooth and preventing potential further dental issues makes it well worth the trouble. If cared for properly, the socket should have a good clot that heals within a few weeks.
However, it doesn’t always go as smoothly due to dry sockets.
In fact, people who have been smoking for a long time are at a higher risk of having them. A study shows that cigarette smokers have poor blood clotting a few weeks after their procedures.
Patients who consume tobacco right after their extraction will endure dry sockets and delay healing, possibly causing infections by prolonging this period.
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In today’s post, we’ll learn why smoking causes a dry socket and how to accelerate your healing right after a tooth extraction.
How Does Smoking Cause Dry Sockets After Tooth Extraction?
Does smoking cause dry sockets after tooth extraction? Yes, it does.
Dry socket, also known as alveolar osteitis, is a painful condition that occurs after a tooth extraction. A blood clot should form at the extraction site a few days after the procedure to protect the underlying bone and nerves damaged in the process.
Sometimes, however, this blood clot can be dislodged or dissolved prematurely, leading to dry sockets.
Given the thousands of dangerous chemicals in cigarettes, it’s no surprise that smoking after a tooth extraction plays a huge factor in affecting blood clots.
Tobacco smoke chemicals, like tar, can impair blood flow and hinder the body’s ability to form and maintain a stable blood clot. Furthermore, the same chemicals affect your body’s immune system and weaken your body’s ability to heal itself and fight off infections.
One other thing to consider is the physical act of smoking. The suction created during inhaling can dislodge the blood clot due to unnecessary movement.
Other physical properties of smoking, such as the heat from the smoke, can irritate the sensitive tissue in the extraction site.
Symptoms of Dry Socket
Anyone who has gone through a dry socket knows that it’s extremely painful and uncomfortable. But, some patients may also have a dry socket without experiencing anything.
For everyone’s benefit, it’s best to know the symptoms of a dry socket and recognise if it’s time to see your dentist for further advice.
Severe Pain for Days After Extraction
One of the hallmark signs of a dry socket is excruciating pain that begins a few days after the tooth extraction. The pain is often more intense than the usual discomfort associated with the extraction itself.
Tooth Extraction With No Blood Clot
If you look into the extraction site and notice an absence of a blood clot, or if the clot appears to have dislodged or dissolved prematurely, it is a clear indication of a dry socket. Your dentist can inspect this site, especially if you only feel minor discomfort from the area weeks after the extraction.
Bad Breath and Taste in Mouth
A persistent foul taste or odor in your mouth can be a sign of infection at the extraction site. This unpleasant taste is often accompanied by bad breath.
So if you’re asking, “Can I smoke after tooth removal?”, the answer is a definitive no to ensure your wound is healing and you avoid bad breath.
I Smoked After a Tooth Extraction. Is It Bad?
If you’ve smoked cigarettes after a tooth extraction, we highly recommend you stop immediately.
Given the well-established link between smoking and dry sockets, smoking increases the risk of developing a dry socket and promotes a higher possibility of having infections, not to mention the great pain and discomfort you’ll feel throughout.
Your dentist or oral surgeon will likely advise you to avoid smoking for at least 48 to 72 hours after the procedure.
During this time, it’s essential to resist the urge to smoke, even if you’re a regular smoker. Furthermore, it’s better to use this period as an opportunity to try and stop smoking altogether to have long-term benefits for your oral and overall health.
A Better Approach: Quit Smoking Altogether
Smoking has been linked to a range of dental problems, including gum disease, tooth decay, and oral cancer. If you’re a smoker, quitting altogether can lead to better overall oral health and reduce the chances of future dental complications.
Quitting smoking is undoubtedly a challenging task, but it’s a decision that can positively impact your health and quality of life. Within just six days, you’ll feel a great difference.
Need Help Stopping Smoking?
Improving your dental health through a tooth extraction reduces the risk of damaging other teeth and spreading infection.
However, smoking will slow down your extraction healing and cause dry sockets, not to mention weaken your oral system and cause long-term damage to healthy teeth.
We strongly recommend stopping smoking for good to improve your dental health altogether, and we can help you do just that.
Smokefree Clinic gives you access to many medically reviewed and trustworthy resources that can inform and aid you in your path to wellness, so have a look around!
If you’re ready to get started, Smokefree can connect you to Australian healthcare professionals who excel in helping patients quit smoking for good.