Smoking and Wisdom Teeth Extraction
If you are smoker, the idea of a wisdom teeth extraction procedure may make you nervous. You have heard about the differences in the recovery for smokers vs non-smokers and you just don’t know if having your wisdom teeth removed is for you. It is true, the wisdom teeth extraction experience is a bit different for smokers than for non-smokers. But, the differences in the recovery for smokers are small, and if you need to have your wisdom teeth removed, the best thing you can do is not delay. Having your wisdom teeth out may be essential to maintaining your oral health. What you can do to help the recovery experience go smoothly, is be informed of what the recovery will be like and what you can do to help your mouth heal as quickly as possible.
Why wisdom teeth extraction?
For many adults, the last set of adult molars usually come between the ages of 17 and 25 years. The issue with these teeth, often called wisdom teeth, is that they come in when the mouth is already developed. Often, there is not any space left for the wisdom teeth to fit properly. This lack of space can cause crowding of the nearby teeth or can cause the wisdom teeth to come in at an angle or remained trapped below the gum line. Any of these complications may be the reason why your dentist has recommended you have your wisdom teeth removed. Not everyone needs to have their wisdom teeth removed, but when it is recommended it usually is to preserve the health of your teeth and gums.
Why is it important to avoid smoking after the extraction procedure?
The average recovery from a wisdom teeth extraction procedure is only a few days. This recovery may be uncomfortable for most, but is not too painful. Prior to the procedure your dentist will give you recommendations to deal with pain, what food to avoid eating, and most importantly advise you not to smoke or exercise. But why is it important to avoid smoking after the extraction? There are many reasons to avoid smoking post-procedure, including:
- Smoking cigarettes introduces chemicals into your mouth. These chemicals can be dangerous to your gum tissue that is trying to heal which may result in complications
- Smoking can seriously delay the healing process
- Smoking can lead to potentially serious complications including dry sockets
- Dry sockets are the most serious complication caused by smoking after an extraction procedure. Immediately after your tooth is removed, a blood clot forms to protect the exposed bone and nerve. Dry socket is a condition that is caused when that blood clot is lost, and the underlying bone and nerves are exposed. Inhaling and exhaling during smoking can make the blood clots become loose. Symptoms of dry sockets include a bad smell or taste and severe pain.
It may seem difficult, but the goal is to avoid smoking for approximately 3 days post procedure. This first 3-day period is critically important to your mouth healing and your healthy recovery.
High-Quality Dental Care
At Cornerstone Family Dentistry in Chapel Hill, all our services are performed with the patient in mind. We want you to feel comfortable in the dental chair, confident in our work, and most importantly, we want you to fall in love with your smile again. If you would like to schedule an appointment or if you have any questions about cosmetic procedures that we offer, please contact us at (919) 595-1010.