Can I Smoke or Drink After A Tooth Extraction?
Whether you are having your tooth extracted because of an accident, infection, or issues with your wisdom teeth, the process is the same. Your dentist or oral surgeon will use a local anesthetic to numb the affected area prior to the extraction of the tooth.
The removal of a tooth is an invasive procedure, that involves removing the entire tooth along with its roots. Once the tooth has successfully been extracted, your dentist or oral surgeon will ensure that there are no fragments of tooth left. Depending on the reason for tooth removal, you may require additional procedures such as bone grafting.
During the process of tooth extraction, the socket will pool with blood. This pooling of blood is vital to the healing process. It will clot the wound and allow it to heal faster and with less pain should there be a dry socket. Here is a quick overview of a tooth extraction procedure:
- A local anesthetic is used to numb the area
- Your dentist removes the tooth
- A hole is left in the soft tissue
- That hole will pool with blood
- A blood clot will form
- You need to protect the hole and blood clot, allowing it to heal
- It takes 7-10 days for the blood to clot and the hole to fully heal
- A new bone is laid and prepped for a dental implant.
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Your dentist or oral surgeon will provide you with some postoperative instructions. To promote good healing, it is important to follow all the guidelines you are given. Here are some ideas on how to help you care for yourself during your recovery:
- Take all prescribed medication
- Place ice near the site to reduce any swelling
- Do not use straws for 24 hours
- Be careful when brushing your teeth by not touching the surgical site
- No smoking after extracting a tooth
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The best option in tooth extraction is to know when to visit the dentist in order to avoid loosing a tooth in the first place. We take special care of our patients, and when a tooth ache is present, we treat the problem fast so that you can keep your healthy teeth. We also offer Bone Grafting, it helps provide a foundation for dental implants and our team has a great record getting the job done to perfection.
Is Smoking After Extracting a Tooth Harmful?
In short, you cannot smoke after tooth extraction. You can also not resume smoking after bone grafting or additional procedures. It is best to not smoke for the first 72 hours after the procedure, at a minimum. However, you should avoid smoking for as long as possible to let the site fully heal.
Smoking can have a direct negative effect on the healing process after an invasive tooth extraction. It can even slow down healing by pushing you back to the beginning of the healing cycle.
“But exactly how does smoking delay healing?”
Let’s take a look at the effects smoking has on wounds:
- Sucking action – the sucking action of smoking can cause the blood clot to become dislodged. As the blood clot is essential in helping the site to heal, this can lead to a dry socket or infection.
- Smoke – the smoke will slow down the healing process and puts you at risk of dry socket. A dry socket can develop as the pooled blood dries up quicker than it should. You may also suffer from inflammation or start bleeding, pushing the healing process back to stage 1.
- The decrease in Oxygen – the decrease in oxygen and nutrients can prevent the blood clot from forming.
- Heat – the heat from the smoke can cause complications with the socket closing.
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What Is Dry Socket?
Developing a dry socket can be one of the biggest risks of smoking, during healing and after tooth extraction. Here are some symptoms of dry socket to look out for:
- You may find it difficult opening and closing your mouth
- May suffer from severe pain and discomfort
- Increase risk of infections
- You may develop an abscess
- The healing process has to start again from day 1, starting with the forming of the blood clot
Can I Drink Alcohol While Healing?
To avoid any complications and delays in healing, you should avoid drinking alcoholic beverages for at least 24 hours. However, we suggest that you wait for as long as possible to help the surgical site heal as quickly as possible. By avoiding alcohol, you will reduce your chances of dry socket and delayed healing.
How Do I Help My Mouth Heal?
Physical activity should be avoided for the first 24 hours following the procedure. You should avoid physical activity because you could cause yourself oral pain and discomfort, as well as dislodging the blood clot. It is important to stay away from alcohol and hot beverages until you have healed, to ensure the blood clot is protected.
It will also be wise to avoid hard and tough foods. While the site is healing, it is important to carry on with your daily teeth cleaning routine. However, you should avoid contact with the extraction site.
When Can I Resume Smoking and Drinking?
Once you have fully healed, you can begin smoking once again. However, it is best to wait around 3-10 days to resume smoking after bone grafting or tooth extraction. You may even consider thinking about this as an opportunity to give up smoking for good.
When it comes to drinking alcoholic drinks, you can start from 24 hours after the procedure. However, your dentist or oral surgeon may advise you to wait a little longer. This is to give you the best chance to heal quickly.
To help get you through the healing process, you may want to consider buying some nicotine patches or other replacement products. Who knows, you may even decide to give up for the good of your oral and overall health!
If you follow all the above guidelines, you are sure to have a successful and complication-free healing process. After the procedure, if you are concerned about any symptoms you have, you should call your dentist as soon as possible.