Why shouldn’t I smoke after a tooth extraction?

dental advice

We recommend not smoking for 48 to 72 hours after a tooth extraction.

We know that this is a challenge for many smokers!

But why not smoke after a tooth extraction?

Smoking greatly slows down the healing process of the tooth socket, the site where your tooth was. The products in tobacco are toxic to the socket, an open wound in your mouth that will take months to heal completely. When you smoke, the blood vessels in your mouth constrict, reducing the supply of nutrients and oxygen to the cells at the extraction site, which need them to begin the healing process. In layman’s terms, it’s like suffocating and starving those cells that are working to heal you as quickly as possible from the trauma.

Another consequence of smoking after a tooth extraction is an increased risk of suffering from dry socket. Dry socket is an inflammation that occurs when the blood clot, which is the basis of the healing process at the extraction site, does not form properly, becomes dislodged or dissolves. A delay in healing and intense pain is therefore to be expected. This can lead to an infection of the extraction site, which will require antibiotics.

In short, smoking should be avoided after a dental extraction to promote optimal healing and limit pain.