While a tooth extraction is a standard procedure that won't keep you too long in the dentist's chair, your body will need between a week and ten days to fully recover. The healing period depends on several factors, such as your overall health, aftercare diligence, and lifestyle. 

Certain habits, such as smoking, can affect and prolong the healing period. But what will happen exactly if you smoke after a tooth extraction, and how bad is it? 

Keep reading to find out! 

What Happens If You Smoke After a Tooth Extraction 

A blood clot will form in the socket of the extracted tooth. It plays a critical role in protecting the underlying nerves and bone tissue from unwanted bacteria. If the blood clot gets dislodged, you will experience a very painful condition known as a dry socket. 

That's why your dentist will give you a list of instructions that you should follow to the letter to avoid a dry socket. One of these instructions includes not smoking for at least one week after the extraction. 

If you're a smoker, then this may come as bad news, and you may wonder what could happen if you do light up a cigarette. 

Firstly, the sucking motion of smoking a cigarette can displace the blood clot and increase your chances of developing a dry socket. But that's not all. 

It's been shown that smokers have lower oxygen levels in their bloodstream, which can affect the healing process. In other words, it will take longer for you to heal after a tooth extraction if you continue smoking. 

It's also been shown that smoking can lead to abscesses that can affect both your tooth and jawbone, resulting in swelling and intense pain. 

Tooth Extraction Aftercare: Tips to Follow

Not smoking is just one of the things you can do to promote healing after tooth extraction. You should also:

  • Maintain good oral hygiene. Rinse your mouth with antibacterial mouthwash and brush and floss normally, avoiding the extraction site. 
  • Eat only soft foods the first few days, so you don’t strain your mouth with hard and chewy foods. 
  • Chew on the other side of the mouth, so you don't get any food particles stuck in the socket
  • Do not use a straw for drinking as it can damage the blood clot.
  • Take medication if your dentist indicates so
  • Avoid demanding physical activities a few days after the extraction
  • Follow any instructions your Denver dentist might have given you. 

Book a Tooth Extraction at Poulos & Somers

Extractions are sometimes inevitable. At Poulos & Somers, you can rest assured that you are in expert hands. We will strive to make the entire experience comfortable and pain-free and provide you with all the tips and information you need for a fast and successful recovery. 

Contact us to find out more about our services and schedule your appointment.