Wells Family Dental Group

How Long After My Wisdom Teeth Are Removed Can I Smoke?

How Long After My Wisdom Teeth Are Removed Can I Smoke?

If you are getting your wisdom teeth removed, you may be wondering how long you have to stop smoking for after the surgery. Here at Wells Family Dental Group, we encourage all smokers to wait at least 48 to 72 hours post surgery to smoke again. If you disregard this recommendation, you may end up with a wound, pain, or a serious infection.

Wisdom teeth removal is in fact a routine oral surgery. However, it is still considered a type of surgery, which calls for proper post-operative care. Failure to follow proper post-operative instructions following wisdom teeth removal can potentially leave you with some complications—especially if you decide to smoke.

One of the most common complications is dry socket (alveolar osteitis), which occurs when a blood clot does not develop in the tooth socket (extraction site), or if the blood clot dislodges or disappears. Typically, when dry socket occurs it causes a throbbing pain in your gum or jaw and is very unpleasant, you may even experience an unpleasant odor or taste in your mouth. If you happen to look into the socket, you may see exposed bone rather than a blood clot.

Since smoking has the potential to damage the blood clot, which helps to jumpstart the healing process, it really is important that you do refrain from smoking until the 48 to 72 hour window has passed. Additionally, smoking may increase your chances of developing serious conditions such as osteomyelitis and a pericoronal infection.

The fact that one wrong smoke can dislodge your blood clot, leave a wound, and open up your risk to uncomfortable conditions makes it imperative for you to stop smoking after you get your wisdom teeth pulled. Although it may be difficult to give up this habit after surgery, doing so is important for a safe, efficient recovery.

It’s also a good idea to avoid smoking before your surgery as well. If you go through half a pack of cigarettes each day, you are 12 percent more likely to develop dry socket than non-smokers. In the event you smoke a pack a day, your risk increases to 20 percent. Therefore, if you can take a break from smoking before your surgery, you can boost your chances of a successful wisdom teeth removal.

In the event that you feel you may have a dry socket or other damage to the extraction sites, it is very important that you contact your dentist immediately. Most likely, your dentist will properly free the dry socket of any debris or cover it with medical dressing.

For optimum oral and overall health, it is advised to quit smoking altogether since quitting really is the best way to decrease risk of any tobacco-related health problems. We fully understand that nicotine, found in cigarettes, is highly addictive and can make the transition of quitting extremely difficult. This is why we recommend you put a plan to quit smoking in place and try to build a strong support network of people that can help you stick to your plan. We also encourage consulting with a dental professional for further support to help quit smoking.

Contact Wells Family Dental Group Today

If you have any questions related to smoking before or after your wisdom teeth removal or about smoking in general, we strongly encourage you to contact our office today at 919.266.5332. With several Raleigh, NC locations, we are confident we can assist you in your oral health needs.

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