After a tooth extraction, whether it’s a pulled tooth or oral surgery to remove an impacted wisdom tooth, there is a hole left in the gum line. To stop bleeding and help the area heal, your dentist or oral surgeon will place a blood clot in the extraction socket. If that blood clot is dislodged due to smoking or other factors, dry socket may occur. It can cause severe pain and delay healing.
Smoking can also lead to a variety of other dental issues, including bruxism and periodontal disease. It can also increase your chances of having an abscess, which is a dangerous infection that can damage healthy bone. Dry socket can also be caused by chewing tobacco and other nicotine replacement products like gum and patches.
It’s important to ask your dentist for advice if you are interested in continuing to smoke after having your teeth extracted. They will provide you with resources and may recommend a timeline for when it’s safe to quit.
The suction of traditional cigarettes and vaping — especially those with a tank – can also dislodge the blood clot in an extraction socket. Tobacco contains chemicals that can slow healing, so it is important to avoid smoking or vaping until the extraction site is healed. Practicing good oral hygiene, choosing soft foods, staying away from straws and avoiding other risky activities will help your mouth heal more quickly. The best way to keep your mouth happy and healthy is to quit smoking altogether.