Why Do Smokers Need Tooth Extraction?
Quite simply, smoking cigarettes creates inflammation of the gums. In turn, inflammation quickens the production of cytokines which can cause periodontal diseases. Which teeth are the hardest to clean and are thus primary targets for extraction? If you answered wisdom teeth, then you would be correct! They’re the ideal place for bacterial growth and so if you are a smoker, you’re combining nicotine to this bacteria which can lead to more painful consequences. Tooth extraction plus smoking heightens the probability of periodontal diseases, in particular, gingivitis.
What about Vapers?
Vapers don’t have the same health problems but may have similar recovery issues due to the heat produced by the vaping process. Having said that since the vape is a lot cleaner then cigarette smoke so it will be a lot cleaner for the wound. Whilst not inhaling for extended period would be best you could probably begin vaping as soon as 24 hours after the surgery. I would recommend something like Juul which is pre loaded so super easy to use and has a temp control so you can minimise the discomfort it may cause. In fact this might be a good opportunity to switch full time to vapes and enjoy the health and financial benefits.
So what Can Happen If I Smoke After Tooth Extraction?
Do you want the good news or the bad news? Unfortunately, I have only one of those two things for you today and it is not the former.
High blood pressure and dizziness, a slower healing process with heightened infection risk and dry socket are all potential health complications.
The blood clot that forms in place of an empty socket, generating fibroblasts which are special cells that play an essential role in wound healing and the process of bone creation commences. This natural reaction is interfered with when you smoke. The stimulation generated by smoking increases blood pressure and can provoke bleeding and dizziness.
Tobacco can cause immediate damage to tissue cells giving you symptoms of throbbing and extreme pain at the site of the surgery. The carbon monoxide in a smoker’s bloodstream decreases the total amount of oxygen available to promote the healing process. The wound site will lack this oxygen and other vital nutrients negated by the impurities in the blood. It follows that the risk of infection is increased through the hampered healing process.
Finally, dry socket a.k.a alveolar osteitis, occurs when the blood clot is removed through the sucking action performed whilst smoking. It is effectively a hole in the bone, exposing the nerves being protected by the clot. The intensity of the pain is colossal and resets the healing process. Avoid dry socket at all costs.
When Can I Smoke After Tooth Extraction
If never is too long to wait for another cigarette, 72 hours is a general guideline for avoiding the dirty dry socket. The wound will heal faster, the longer you can avoid the temptation to light up. Observing the wound, whilst not fool proof, is a simple way to determine whether you are potentially going to succumb to dry socket. If you’re incapable of resisting the allure of big tobacco, a salt water rinse before and after smoking whilst waiting for the wound to heal will minimise the likelihood of infection.
So in short, when can you smoke after tooth extraction? Captain Obvious says never. Everyone else will heal at different rates so err on the side of caution to avoid serious health complications.