Must you smoke after tooth extraction? READ THIS FIRST!

You have your tooth removed, and you want to find out how soon you can smoke after tooth extraction. This article covers that and more. Read on

What is Tooth Extraction?

The extracting of a tooth is a process or procedure requiring the removal of one or more teeth. There are a variety of reasons for cutting a tooth, and the treatment has varying levels of complexity.

Reasons For A Tooth Extraction

By regular trips to the dentist, some of the causes for tooth extraction can be stopped, while others are not due to the patient’s error. Here are a few of the various reasons for tooth extraction:

  1. Effects of tooth decay and disease
  2. Wisdom tooth removal
  3. Accidents affecting the teeth and mandibles.
  4. Viable reasons for tooth spacing due to overcrowding
  5. And many other individual factors for making irresistible decisions towards extraction of the teeth. 

What Happens If I Smoke After Tooth Extraction?

Smoking can be the cause of numerous problems after the extraction process. The period after the removal of the tooth is very fragile. Instead of an empty socket, a blood clot is created, fibroblasts (specialized cells playing an essential role in wound healing) are produced, and the bone formation cycle is begun.

The natural reaction can be impaired by smoking. Your blood pressure increases when you chew, causing bleeding and dizziness. When smoking interferes with recovery, you can feel throbbing and intense pain at the site of the operation. This is because tobacco allows the tissue cells to get damaged immediately.

Smokers’ blood contains carbon monoxide, which reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients to the wound field tissues and hampers the healing process.

Lack of oxygen ensures slow recovery and heightened risk of infection. One of the most painful and terrible things that can happen to you after tooth extraction is a dry socket, also known as alveolar osteitis

“A dry socket occurs when the blood clot dislodges from the sucking motion performed when smoking”.

Possible complications arising from tooth extraction

Possible complications that may arise from tooth extraction are as follows: Dry socket, dizziness, elevated or high blood pressure, reduced healed pace, risk of getting an infection etc.

Dry Socket: More Painful Than Tooth Extraction

It’s not a pleasant experience to have your tooth removed, but it can get even worse. The real pain can come afterwards if dry socket forms.

Dry socket often called “alveolar osteitis”, is linked with intense pain around the location of the procedure and a more extended period of recovery. The socket in the bone is void. The blood clot appears in the socket after the extracting process, which defends the nerves from infections.

Nonetheless, the clot can sometimes be broken down and the nerve and bone are exposed. The infection occurs instantly, and for some days (usually 5-6 days) will lead to a dry socket and severe pain.

The survivors of dry sockets claim it’s a terrible pain that no-one should ever have to undergo.

How to Prevent Having Dry Socket after Tooth Extraction

You should try to avoid such debilitating complications of tooth extraction by:

  1. Practising proper hygiene before and after extraction of the tooth
  2. Avoid drinking from a straw and
  3. Avoid smoking for a while after undergoing the procedure for tooth extraction.

Avoid smoking and tobacco immediately after tooth extraction

People who smoke and use tobacco following a tooth extraction, are at a much higher risk of developing dry sockets. A study published on NCBI found that in 12 percent of people who smoke after tooth extraction, a dry socket happened. Through contrast, the dry socket formed in just 4 percent of those who did not smoke after tooth extraction. See contrast researched publication here.

Smoking will dislodge the blood clot through rapid inhalation. This happens when you smoke anything, not just cigarettes. That’s because many tobacco products contain chemicals that can inhibit healing and lead to infection.

How Long do I have to wait to Smoke After Tooth Extraction?

It’s best if you can live without smoking for at least one day but the longer, the more excellent healing efficiency you accumulate.

The preferred recovery period after removing the tooth is 72 hours. After 72 hours, a dry socket has less possibility to develop.

The longer you wait, the easier the process of healing becomes. Despite the missing tooth, a blood clot takes time to form. That is why 2-3 days after a tooth extraction is crucial and affects the whole process of healing.

Waiting for a minimum of 3-4 days will significantly reduce potential complications. Endeavour to desist from smoking until you can see the gums appear better and healthy in the mirror. Know, it’s in your benefit to do everything you can to quicken the healing process. Tooth extraction can also be used as a legitimate excuse to stop smoking for good.

If you cannot avoid smoking after tooth extraction, here are what you must do when you smoke.

If you can not stop and decide to start smoking early, at least try to clean your mouth after each smoking act with warm saltwater.

Do this after eating or drinking, as well. Such preventive measures don’t mean you can stop a dry socket from developing; Although, they offer additional measures of protection against it.


Having your teeth clean is crucial. Ensure no waste and contaminants are in the socket. Stop all sucking behaviour, like smoking upon removal of your gum.

If you decide to wait a couple of days to smoke, but the blood clot is still dislodging, be mindful of a dry socket and seek to recognize the symptoms in time.

When to See your Dentist

Some of the symptoms and signs of warning of a dry socket are:

  1. Discomfort at the location of the injection
  2. Bad breath and bad mouth taste
  3. Discomfort in the ear
  4. Enlarged lymph nodes.

If you have any of those signs and symptoms above, don’t wait to call the dentist.

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How can you prevent a dry socket from forming as a smoker, after tooth extraction?

You can prevent dry socket from forming by practising proper hygiene, avoid drinking from a straw, and not smoking for a while after the procedure. If you must smoke, clean your mouth after each smoking act with warm saltwater.

How can you reduce complications after a tooth extraction?

Waiting for a minimum of 3-4 days before you smoke anything will significantly reduce potential complications. You can also extend the wait time indefinitely as smoking can be harmful to your health in general.

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