It’s no secret that smoking is bad for you. But smoking is especially damaging after you’ve had a wisdom tooth pulled.
Getting a wisdom tooth extracted may seem a bit scary. But rest assured, today’s dental techniques will make the experience as painless as possible. After a short recovery period, you’ll be back to normal and enjoying your favorite foods with zero discomfort!
You must care for your overall health to speed up the healing process! And that means cutting out cigarettes! Cigarettes are not only bad for your overall health, but they also significantly impair your recovery after a wisdom tooth is pulled. Read on to learn why breaking the nicotine habit will make your wisdom tooth extraction go much more smoothly.
Here’s why you need to stop smoking after a wisdom tooth extraction
A wisdom tooth is typically pulled because it’s causing pain due to overcrowding. While our ancient ancestors needed wisdom teeth to chew tough foods, we no longer have use for them. So losing them won’t affect how your mouth and jaw function.
Once the wisdom tooth is removed, you may feel some residual pain. That’s normal and shouldn’t last too long. But you’ll experience less pain if you heal faster. And one way to recover sooner is to stop smoking for at least 72 hours after the extraction.
Why is it important to stop smoking? First, the chemicals in tobacco can undermine your ability to heal after any procedure, including oral surgery. But there’s more to it than that.
To heal completely after an extraction, a blood clot must form over the empty space where the tooth was. The clot protects the underlying bone and nerves and supports healing. After the tooth is pulled, your dentist will apply a gauze pad over the site to encourage the clot to develop. Keep the pad in place for a few hours.
When you suck on a cigarette, you can dislodge the clot, which leads to a painful condition known as dry socket. Without the protective cushion of the clot, the nerves and bone are exposed to cold and hot temperatures from liquids or air. When inflamed, the nerves respond by causing severe pain throughout your mouth. The pain can also radiate to your eye, ear, and temple. You may also notice an unpleasant taste in your mouth or bad breath. Dry socket can lead to an infection, as well.
Dry socket delays your recovery. Your dentist may need to perform another procedure to clear debris from the dry socket. Your dentist may prescribe an antibiotic or place a medicated dressing over the dry socket to prevent infection. You can remove the dressing at home, but you will need to clean the site with a saltwater rinse or prescription mouthwash. If the dry socket is severe enough, you may need to apply a new medicated dressing yourself at home. All that adds time and expense to what should be a relatively quick recovery.
Quitting smoking is challenging, and refraining from tobacco for 72 hours can seem like an eternity. But if you want a quick, painless recovery from a wisdom tooth procedure, throwing away your pack of cigarettes is the easiest way to put the whole experience behind you. Better yet, talk to your doctor about a smoking cessation program. That way, your wisdom tooth extraction will be a breeze.
Your Espire dentist near you
Schedule an appointment at Espire’s Colorado Springs location today! Our highly trained dentists are experts at wisdom tooth extraction and will make it as pain-free as possible. Don’t live near our Colorado Springs office? Find one of our other locations near you.
8610 Explorer Drive #315
Colorado Springs, CO 80920