A wisdom tooth removal is a common milestone for many Americans and not as painful an experience as most people would imagine. However, it’s essential to keep some guidelines in mind to ensure a successful and healthy recovery – one of which is not to smoke during the recovery period. So if you’re wondering, “how long after wisdom teeth removal can I smoke?” This article will explain why it’s a bad idea.
Why You Shouldn’t Smoke After Wisdom Teeth Removal
After the wisdom teeth removal process, the extraction site develops a blood clot that sits over the empty socket. Its purpose is to protect the underlying nerves, bone, and tissue, allowing them to heal.
The act of smoking involves puffing at a cigarette, which creates negative air pressure that allows the burning tobacco smoke to be inhaled into the body. This sucking motion can dislodge the blood clot and cause a painful condition called a “dry socket.” This is the same reason doctors advise against drinking liquids through a straw during the recovery process.
A dry socket causes intense pain that can radiate through your jaw, face, ear, or neck. It requires immediate medical treatment, so if you happen to experience it, contact your local dentist in Minnesota for an appointment.
Besides the potential for dry sockets, smoking causes thousands of toxic chemicals to enter your mouth and body. The sensitive, recovering tissues surrounding the wisdom tooth extraction sites can become contaminated. This can cause them to take longer to heal, and you may develop complications that require another dental appointment to address.
How Long After Wisdom Teeth Removal Can I Smoke?
It can be challenging to quit smoking, even if you had intended to quit after your surgery, due to the highly addictive nature of cigarettes. However, if you must smoke, you can do so after at least 72 hours have passed since your surgery. Of course, you should consult your dentist for advice about your specific situation.
Conclusion and Guidelines To Ensure Recovery
We’ve listed some things you can do to ensure proper healing and recovery after your wisdom tooth extraction. Following these guidelines for a week or two after your surgery is a great way to ensure you don’t have to visit the dentist to deal with complications.
- Don’t use a straw to consume liquids.
- Don’t smoke or use tobacco products such as chewing tobacco, gum, or snuff.
- Avoid spicy, sticky, or acidic foods and beverages.
- Avoid granular foods that can get stuck between teeth or your extraction site.
- Don’t consume alcohol.
- Eat soft foods that don’t require chewing, such as applesauce, yogurt, smoothies, and mashed potatoes.
- Stay hydrated and drink plenty of water.
As your healing progresses, you can slowly begin to reintroduce hard foods, transitioning to your regular diet after a week. As always, it’s best to talk to your dentist if you have any questions or concerns.
Almond Dental offers the best aesthetic dentistry services in Minnesota, featuring a complete array of dental implants to suit our patients’ needs. We offer in-house dental treatment and flexible financing at our two convenient locations. Call us at (612) 782-7000 for our St. Anthony location or (763) 762-7177 for our Maple Grove location. We’ll be happy to see you.