How Long After Oral Surgery Can You Smoke?

Apr 30, 2022 | Blog, Oral Surgery

Going through a tooth extraction can be slightly painful, but it only lasts for a temporary period. If you follow the instructions mentioned by your dentist and take care of your oral health, the extraction site will heal within a few days.

During this healing period, your doctor will strictly prohibit smoking or tobacco use. It may pose a challenge for chronic smokers. The ban on smoking is for a few days, but we instruct you to reduce or quit it afterward, as smoking adversely affects your overall oral health.

Below we discuss the consequences of smoking after tooth extraction and why you should refrain from it.


Normal Healing After Tooth Extraction

Whether you undergo simple or surgical tooth extraction, your gums and jawbone take time to recover. A simple extraction is one where our dentist will remove a defective tooth using manual instruments. It does not involve the placement of an incision or sutures. You can eat normally within a few days, but complete healing after a simple extraction may take two weeks.
On the contrary, recovery after a surgical tooth extraction takes much longer. This is because it is an invasive process that involves your gums and jawbone.

Following a surgical extraction, it may take 3 to 4 weeks to recover completely if you follow proper guidelines and maintain oral hygiene.


Negative Impacts of Smoking on Post-Extraction Healing

Cigarette smoke contains harmful chemical toxins that cause inflammation of the gums and delay normal healing. Due to this reason, we advise you to avoid smoking for the first 72 hours after tooth extraction.

If you smoke within the first few days after tooth extraction, it can have severe implications on your oral health, which include:

  • Dislodgement of the blood clot: To inhale the smoke from a cigarette, you perform a sucking action. It can dislodge the clot in the extraction site, which covers your bone and nerve endings. Loss of the blood clot can cause serious issues, including a dry socket.
  • Dry socket: It occurs due to the exposure of the bone and sensitive nerve endings beneath a tooth socket. Smoking dislodges the blood clot and actively contributes to the formation of a dry socket. It presents with severe symptoms, including extreme pain, foul odor, tenderness, and difficulty in eating.
  • Gum infections: Smoking also increases the risk of gum infection and inflammation after tooth extraction. The irritants in smoking trigger an immune response, leading to swelling, redness, and other symptoms.


Tips To Promote Healing After Tooth Extraction

Apart from avoiding smoking, there are other methods that will help to recover faster after tooth extraction. These include:

  • Eat a soft diet for 3 to 4 days after an extraction. Include cooler products such as yogurt and ice cream to reduce inflammation.
  • Avoid spitting, sucking, or using a straw for the first 24 hours.
  • Avoid hot beverages such as tea, coffee, etc., and spicy foods as they may trigger the extraction site.
  • Do not brush for the first 12 hours. Later, start brushing your teeth gently, avoiding the extraction site.
  • Use warm salt water to rinse your mouth for 2 to 3 days.


To learn more about the tooth extraction process, visit Champions Dental or call us at (281) 866-0442 to schedule a dental visit.

Dr. Esteban Garza, DDS, MAGD

Dr. Esteban Garza, DDS, MAGD

Dr. Esteban Garza, a Texas native with roots in the Rio Grande Valley, boasts a diverse educational and professional background. After completing his Biology degree at Texas A&M, he transitioned from teaching to dentistry, earning his DDS from Baylor College of Dentistry. Dr. Garza’s commitment to excellence for over 15 years, is evident through his extensive education in various dental specialities, culminating in prestigious accolades like the Fellowship Award in 2016 and the Mastership in the Academy of General Dentistry in 2020, achieved by less than 2% of dentists. 


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