For smokers, nothing could be as difficult as stopping smoking after tooth extraction. This is because, although temporary, the nicotine addiction could be so overwhelming. One can literally be overwhelmed. Most cigarette smokers start smoking almost immediately after the tooth extraction, which is contrary to the instructions of the dentist.
Here are the reasons why you should wait for wait for at least 3 days or 72 hours before resuming the smoking after tooth extraction.
The smoke from the cigarette contains chemical toxins which interfere with the healing process. If you had a wisdom tooth extracted for instance, you will take several days before the area heals completely. If you start smoking earlier than the stipulated 72 hours ,the chemical toxins will get into the wound and stop further healing from taking place. The delayed healing would mean that you take.
As a result of smoking a little too soon, you will suffer from the dry socket in the area whereby there is a bad smell coming from spot and of course this is accompanied by intense pain which could last for days. It also becomes very difficult to open your mouth.
Beginning to smoke before 72 hours have lapsed leads to inflammation at the place where the tooth was extracted. In order to prevent the inflammation from occurring, it is advisable that you allow the wound to heal for at least the first 3 days however tempting it is to resume smoking.
Removal of blood clots
Healing takes place when blood forms clots at the wound. The smoking action where one inhales the cigarette interferes with the clotting process. The force with which one sucks at the cigarette removes the clots, thus preventing the healing process from going on.
There is excruciating pain if you stop the healing process when you begin smoking after tooth extraction. This pain comes from the fact that there are blood vessels which contract when you smoke. It could get worse if the wound was sutured. In fact it is understood that the closure of the wound would take around a week. The reduced blood flow when you start smoking could delay the healing process,
There is a very high risk of re-infection if one starts smoking too soon after tooth extraction. It is best to allow the wound to heal fast so that the open wound does not become a source of infection. These could be bacteria or virus which enter the wound. The harmful carcinogenic compounds may also enter the wound, leading to health complications.
Starting to smoke too soon affects the normal regeneration process of the cells. The process is known as mitosis. In order to encourage going on naturally, cigarette smoking generally should be given a wide berth, a minimum of 3 days.
Formation of cysts or tumors
The other risk that comes with smoking soon after discharge is that there is a risk of formation of cysts or tumors at the place where the tooth was extracted.
The action of smoking could potentially expose the wound and even worse, the bone. This explains why one feels a lot of pain during this process.
When you start smoking too soon, you run the risk of bleeding from the gum. The reason for this is that the act of smoking causes the blood pressure to increase. The blood vessels in the wound will burst and cause bleeding. You will experience dizziness as a result of the bleeding. In order to prevent this bleeding, one should allow at least 72 hours before smoking after tooth extraction.
Damage to the cells
The tissue cells surrounding the tooth could get damaged. The smoking action is harmful as it kills the tissue and compromises the healing process. The smoke from cigarette cuts down the amount of oxygen going to the wound, denying the tissues the much needed oxygen for the healing process.
There are a number of things besides smoking, which one should also avoid. They include the following:
Drinking from straw
The sucking action of the straw is similar to smoking. It disturbs the healing wound by dislodging the blood clots, hence may delay to heal. As much as possible, avoid using straws for the period of the healing.
Observing oral hygiene
It is important to observe the highest level of hygiene after the extraction which could be anything from the first 72 hours to the next 10 days. Poor oral hygiene could affect the wound encouraging infection. Since you cannot brush the normal way, one is advised to use mouth rinse until the wound has completely healed.
Hard food could interfere with the healing process when you try to chew it. You should ensure that you take soft foods until such a time when the wound heals.
The timing to start smoking seems quite subjective. Some people say that it should be at least after 24 hours while others say 72 hours. There are those recommend 9-10 days before you resume smoking. In other cases, there are those that you don’t resume smoking again after tooth extraction.
Whichever way you look at it, it is important to give yourself a minimum period that will allow the healing takes place. As we have seen from the reasons given above, it is only reasonable that one avoids smoking for at least 3 days.
The worst that could possibly happen is that you will have a dry socket which is the most debilitating condition that one can go through. Dentists will tell you that dry socket tends to be more painful than the extraction of the tooth itself.
When the nerve and bone get exposed, there is formation of the dry socket. It is hell for the next 5-6 days as one experiences excruciating pain. This can however be prevented by not smoking for the period given by the dentist. Avoid the delayed healing and other complications by not smoking too early too soon.