If you have an upcoming wisdom tooth removal procedure, you likely have many questions regarding your recovery. While your local dentist will be able to provide you with the most accurate information regarding your unique situation, there are general guidelines that everyone must follow post-surgery. For some people, wisdom teeth removal will require them to temporarily alter their lifestyle or habits to allow for effective recovery.
Can you smoke after wisdom teeth removal? Most dentists recommend that you refrain from smoking or tobacco use for a minimum of 5 days following your wisdom teeth removal. Smoking can lead to complications with recovery such as a dry socket, infection, or delayed recovery. If you do resume smoking or using tobacco, you must take precautions to eliminate unnecessary complications.
Most people do not consider the many ways that a wisdom tooth removal procedure will temporarily alter their lifestyle. It is important to educate yourself on the average recovery period so that you can prepare for the days, weeks, and months following your procedure.
In this post, we will share some important facts about smoking after wisdom teeth removal. We will also dive into some precautions that you must take if you decide to resume smoking or tobacco use once your wisdom teeth are removed. We hope this information equips you to make the best decision regarding both your oral and overall health.
Things to Know About Smoking After Wisdom Teeth Removal
If you currently smoke or use tobacco products of any kind, you must prepare yourself for the changes you make following your upcoming wisdom teeth removal.
How Soon Can You Smoke After Wisdom Teeth Removal?
Each situation will vary depending on the dentist as well as the patient’s overall oral health. However, most patients are unable to resume smoking or using tobacco products for a minimum of five days following their wisdom tooth removal procedure. There are some situations where patients can resume smoking with great precaution as early as 48 hours post-surgery although this is rare.
You must discuss this topic with your Tulsa dentist before your wisdom tooth removal appointment so that you are prepared for your recovery. It may be wise to take steps to reduce tobacco use leading up to your procedure.
Reasons to Wait to Smoke Following Wisdom Teeth Removal
There are countless reasons why you should wait to smoke for a minimum of five days following your wisdom tooth removal. You can learn more about an average wisdom teeth removal recovery timeline here.
Smoking Can Cause Dry Socket
Dry socket is one of the primary concerns following wisdom tooth extraction for smokers and non-smokers alike. A dry socket is caused when the blood clot becomes dislodged from the wound, leaving the site open to infection. Dry socket is often caused by a failure to follow proper aftercare instructions.
Smoking or tobacco use of any kind can increase the risk of dry socket, a condition that is quite painful and inconvenient. You must also be careful to avoid certain foods and drinks, choosing these foods to eat after wisdom teeth removal instead. Doing so will allow the blood clot to remain in place, accelerating the healing process.
Smoking Can Delay the Natural Healing Process
Not only can smoking cause dry sockets but it can also significantly delay the natural healing process. When you smoke, your blood vessels shrink, delivering less oxygen to the wound. With fewer nutrients, the wound is unable to heal properly. In this way, smoking or tobacco use can not only increase your risk of infection but can also delay your natural healing process.
Smoking Increases the Risk of Infection
After your wisdom tooth removal procedure, you must take steps to maintain cleanliness in your mouth. Your dentist will provide you with several detailed instructions regarding cleaning your wound and the surrounding areas.
While you must eat and drink to maintain your overall health and wellness, smoking or tobacco use is a habit that can increase the risk of infection. For this reason, many dentists recommend avoiding smoking or tobacco use until the site is fully healed.
Precautions to Take If You Smoke After Wisdom Teeth Removal
If and when you decide to resume smoking following your wisdom tooth removal, there are several precautions you must take.
Do NOT Smoke or Use Tobacco for 48 Hours Following Procedure
It is imperative that you do not smoke or use any tobacco products for the first 48 hours following your procedure. Doing so can negatively affect the removal site. But it can also affect your overall health as you will likely be heavily medicated.
When You Resume Smoking, Inhale Very Gently
When you do resume smoking, you must inhale very gently. The act of inhaling, whether while smoking or simply using a straw, can quickly dislodge the blood clot that is protecting your removal site. This will lead to a dry socket and a delayed recovery.
Leave Gauze Covering Wound While Smoking
Your dentist will provide you with gauze that you will use to protect the wisdom teeth removal site while you are eating or drinking. You must cover the wound with this gauze while you are smoking. Doing so will eliminate the chance of developing an infection or a dry socket.
If you use tobacco or smoke regularly, you must ask your dentist for specific precautions you should take as you resume smoking after your procedure. It is always better to err on the side of caution when your oral health is in question.
Tips for a Successful Wisdom Tooth Removal Procedure
There are several things that you can do to prepare yourself for a successful wisdom tooth removal. If you have found this article, you are already on the right path! Educating yourself on expectations for recovery is the best way to prepare yourself for what is to come.
Reduce Tobacco Intake Before Wisdom Teeth Removal
If you use tobacco or smoke regularly, it is wise to gradually reduce your tobacco intake. You should begin this process in the weeks leading up to your wisdom teeth removal. This can help eliminate symptoms of withdrawal that you may experience from a drastic change in tobacco use. Your dentist or general practitioner will be able to provide you with tools, information, and resources to successfully begin this process.
Develop a New Habit to Distract Yourself From Tobacco Use
Something that can make your recovery time fly by more quickly is to develop a new habit. Learning a new skill or taking up a new hobby is a great way to distract yourself when you would otherwise be using tobacco.
Follow Your Dentist’s Recommendations for Effective Recovery
In order to ensure a successful recovery following your wisdom tooth removal, you must follow your dentist’s recommendations. If you have considered stopping smoking or tobacco use in the past, your wisdom tooth removal may be a great way to kickstart the process! Your dentist can direct you to resources regarding this process if you have a desire to kick your smoking habit once and for all.
Many people are intimidated by the thought of wisdom tooth removal. However, it is far less traumatic than it may seem. With the proper care and oral hygiene following your procedure, you will be well on your way to recovery in no time. If you have further questions regarding the average recovery following wisdom teeth removal, contact a local dentist here!
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