Wisdom Teeth Smoking: How It Delays the Healing Process

Wisdom Teeth Smoking

After the extraction of wisdom teeth smoking is not recommended, and many report developing a dry socket because of smoking following the procedure. Smoking is also a reason for wisdom teeth removal according to the University of Maryland Medical Centre.

Periodontal disease is common among smokers and smoking cigars, pipes, and cigarettes causes gum inflammation. It results in a more intense production of cytokines, which leads to periodontal disease. Moreover, wisdom teeth are a fertile ground for different bacteria to grow which can result in periodontal disease. Thus, there are two factors that increase the risk of dental conditions for which extraction may be required.

As said, smoking may cause a dry socket to develop, and it is recommended to avoid smoking during the first 24 hours. During this period, a blood clot forms over the extraction site. This clot is very important, and it keeps patients from experiencing alveolar osteitis or dry socket.

According to the American Dental Association, this may require special treatment such as pain medications and medicated gauze dressings. Sucking actions, for example, dragging on a cigarette and drinking from a straw, can dislodge this clot, increasing the risk of developing dry socket. For this reason, smoking should be avoided during the first day following the extraction.

After the removal of wisdom teeth smoking is not advisable, and some recommend not to smoke for two or three weeks after the surgery. Smoking puts fine, hot particles in the mouth, and they increase the risk of infection. Mouthwash does not help with this and in fact, using mouthwash during the first couple of days can contribute to or cause dry socket to develop.

Persons with severe addiction who must smoke are advised to wait at least a couple of days (three to five). It is important not to suck rigorously because this can dislodge the blood clot. Nicotine patches may be of help so that patients avoid the urge to lit a cigarette. If possible, avoid smoking until the extraction site has healed completely.

Finally, after the extraction of wisdom teeth smoking should be avoided because it makes blood thinner. This delays or stops the clotting process, and the wound takes longer to heal.

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