It should hardly come as news that smoking isn’t good for your health, but many people underestimate just how damaging it can be to your oral health. Smoking increases your chances of developing several serious oral health issues, and it’s particularly important to avoid smoking after you’ve had a tooth extracted.
Here are just four reasons why.
- You’ll Increase the Risk of Dry Socket
When a tooth is extracted, a clot needs to develop within the socket to ensure proper healing. Dry socket refers to a condition in which the clot becomes dislodged. It can be extremely uncomfortable when this happens, and it significantly increases the recovery period. Smoking dries out the mouth, and puffing on a cigarette creates suction – dry socket can result.
- You’ll Interfere with Blood Clotting
As mentioned above, the formation of a blood clot is one of your first steps towards recovery. Smoking doesn’t just increase the risk of that clot coming out – it also interferes with the clot’s development. The small blood vessels that feed the area will not supply blood as efficiently, so clots aren’t as strong or reliable.
- You’ll Increase Your Recovery Time
Even if you manage to get away with smoking without having to face dry socket or clotting problems, smoking is still going to impede the recovery process. That’s another issue with the way smoking impairs the flow of blood. Your mouth is home to very small blood vessels that need to be healthy for healthy tissue to form over the extraction site. Until that happens, you’ll be eating and drinking gingerly, and you’ll almost certainly be facing discomfort longer if you smoke during the recovery process.
- You’ll Expose Underlying Areas
Finally, keep in mind that new areas of the mouth will be exposed after a tooth has been extracted, and those areas will have minimal natural protection. Exposing them to smoke can be extremely dangerous, possibly leading to issues as serious as oral cancer.