If you’ve recently had a tooth extracted, the chances are that the tooth experienced decay due to a physical accident, poor health habits or you’re a smoker. If you’re a smoker and have recently had a tooth taken out, read on to learn about whether you should smoke after tooth extraction treatment.
Kicking the smoking habit is always recommended by our dentists to preserve oral health. However, it can understandably be difficult to quit immediately. Dentists will usually recommend that you refrain from smoking at least 72 hours or three days after tooth extraction treatment. The healing time helps a blood clot to form which may take longer if you’re a smoker. Withdrawing through nicotine can be frustrating but the consequences can be more troublesome and may lead to further emergency dental treatment. Here are some of the problems you’re likely to experience when smoking whilst your mouth is healing from a tooth extraction.
Loosening Of The Blood Clot
If you smoke whilst your mouth is healing, the inhalation of the smoke can loosen the blood clot and the wound can open up. The blood clot protects the wound and this increases the chances of infection. When the blood clot becomes dislodged, you’re likely to experience dry socket which slows the healing process and leads to increased sensitivity for a longer period. The underlying nerves become exposed.
Signs of Dry Socket
Along with experiencing sensitivity for at least 3 to 4 days, the underlying nerve tissue will also be exposed. Apart from intense sensitivity, your blood clot will have been dislodged leading to pain radiating not only in the affected area but to other areas of your head. You’re likely to experience bad breath and experience an unpleasant taste which are symptoms of dry socket. In most cases, the dry socket will heal by itself.
How To Heal The Dry Socket
In most cases, you can expect a dry socket to heal on its own. If you prefer to leave the dry socket to heal on its own, follow these tips to speed up recovery:
- Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated
- Rinse mouth gently and regularly with lukewarm water and salt several times a day
- Rinse your mouth after eating to clear the affected from debris as this can lead to bacteria
- Brush your teeth softly around the affected area twice a day
- Take painkillers advised by the dentist
- Consume soft foods such as potato and vegetables
The average healing of dry socket takes at least 7 to 10 days as the tissue needs to regrow to cover the socket. This is how the blood clot forms.
If you can attempt to kick the smoking habit for at least 72 hours or 3 days then you’re likely to experience faster healing. However, it is recommended that you try to kick the smoking habit and lead yourself on a path to positive oral health. A tooth extraction should act as a clear warning to your oral health and should encourage you to quit smoking.
If you’re a tooth extraction patient and are seeking further support as a smoker, Integrated Smiles are more than happy to offer knowledgeable advice to preserve your oral health. Contact our Bendigo Dental team here now.