If you’ve ever had your teeth taken out, you’ll know that the healing process can be lengthy. You have lots of restrictions regarding how to act during that period. Your dentist will prescribe medication, tell you what foods to eat, etc. 

But what about your other habits, such as smoking? Most of the time, dentists forget to mention nicotine — but things are a little bit different when you come to get a wisdom tooth extraction in Lake Shore, East Chicago.

Our dental experts are there to answer all of your questions, so it’s always smart to come up with as many of them as possible before the extraction itself. It’s unwise to expect your dentist to cover every piece of information. They’re human, so they can’t always remember everything.

If you believe your memory won’t serve you well at your appointment either, because of stress, for example, we have all the info you need to prepare yourself. Let’s talk about different kinds of wisdom teeth removal and how smoking affects your healing process.

Simple vs. Surgical Wisdom Teeth Removal

It’s important to talk about the two kinds of wisdom teeth removal because the healing processes will vary depending on what you opt for. The two kinds of removal are:

  • Simple extraction
  • Surgical removal

Simple Extractions

This kind of wisdom teeth removal is simple, as the name suggests. It’s done under local anesthesia, so you won’t feel anything. This kind of removal is suitable for teeth that are completely out. In other words, your dentist can extract them without having to make any cuts.

The healing process after this kind of extraction requires medication and some diet restrictions for a couple of days. As soon as the clot forms, the socket will start closing, and you’ll be free to return to your usual routine.

Surgical Removal

Wisdom teeth surgery is a bit different. Dentists recommend this procedure when your teeth aren’t fully out or in case of an impacted wisdom tooth. It’s also done under anesthesia, but your dentist will have to cut the gum tissue or maybe even the bone. It all depends on the positioning of your tooth.

The healing process after oral surgery is almost the same as it is after simple extraction. The only difference is you’ll have some stitches. That means you may have to go back to your dentist’s office to take them out.

How Does Smoking Affect Your Healing Process?

So, how long before smoking after tooth extraction, you wonder? The best thing you can do is quit smoking during the whole healing process. We know that’s difficult for many smokers. So, if you really have to do it, wait at least 72 hours. Smoking after a wisdom tooth extraction isn’t helpful for two main reasons:

  • Creates suction
  • Hinders the healing process

If there’s one thing you shouldn’t do while healing it’s to create suction. That’s why your dentist tells you to avoid using straws while drinking too. So, if you find a dry socket after tooth extraction, smoking is what caused it. A dry socket is a condition where the blood clot is dislodged from the socket or is never formed in the first place. Drinking from a straw or smoking can dislodge it.

Secondly, nicotine is toxic. Even if you’re not taking it directly, the smoke alone can stop the healing. That’s how you prevent the clot from forming at all. When the blood clot isn’t protecting the socket, you can experience extreme pain and discomfort. That’s because no clot means nerve exposure, and you definitely don’t want that.

How to Ensure a Speedy Recovery?

Now that we know to smoking after a wisdom tooth extraction is harmful, there needs to be something else you can do to take your mind off of your cravings. We’re not asking you to quit smoking if that’s something you don’t want to do. But those 72 hours before you can smoke are crucial. You want the blood clot to form and your socket to start healing. So, how do you do that? It’s easier than you think.

The first thing to keep in mind is to follow whatever advice your dentist gave you. That includes taking the prescribed medication, eating and drinking enough, and resting a lot. When it comes to different foods you can eat, soft foods are the way to go. Stay away from anything too hot, cold, or spicy. Your body needs proper nutrients to form a blood clot and speed up the healing process.

Also, don’t forget to keep up with proper oral hygiene. Avoid rinsing your mouth and flossing near the socket. You may find brushing your teeth a bit awkward, but take your time with it because it’s essential. Your cheek may swell too, but that’s a normal part of the healing process. Once the 72 hours are up, you can indulge in smoke or two if you really have to. Ensure you’re being as careful as possible, and call your dentist if you experience any extreme pain or discomfort.

Always Follow Your Dentist’s Instructions

If you’re really concerned about smoking after wisdom tooth extraction, talk to your dentist. They’re there to hear you out and suggest the best thing you can do in your situation. Smoking addiction is a real thing, and you shouldn’t be ashamed of telling your dentist if you suffer from it just so they can keep it in mind.

As always, your dentist isn’t just there to hear you out but treat you as well. There are a lot of consequences of smoking after wisdom tooth extraction. So, if you find yourself with a painful condition like a dry socket, your dentist will be able to treat you accordingly.

Even though smoking can hinder your overall healing process, waiting at least 72 hours is the best thing you can do before reaching for a cigarette. If you don’t mind prolonging the minor discomfort that comes with healing from a wisdom tooth removal, everything should be just fine.