Smoking is injurious to the lungs, has long term complications to the other organs, but it causes immediate harm after dental treatment.
Apart from the link between respiratory diseases and smoking, there are numerous oral health risks that are associated with it including bad breath, discoloration of teeth, loss of bone in the jaw, high risk of developing oral cancer, low success rates of dental implants, build up of tartar and plaque. Most of the dentists and doctors war against the onset of serious gum diseases and oral cancers due to the habit of smoking. Nicotine is a toxic substance that damages healthy tissue abruptly and permanently.
However, the chances of infection are extremely high when an individual smokes right after a dental treatment session has been conducted. When a tooth is removed, there is a wound or a gap is exposed within the gum and similarly, root canal procedure exposes the nerves. After a successful completion of the tooth extraction, blood clots form in the socket as a covering to protect the bone, nerves and raw tissue. Smoking right after the extraction process can dislodge the blood clots and expose the tissue, bone and raw nerve endings. This particular state is medically termed as ‘dry socket’.
Along with searing pain, the gaps or sockets heal within a week without the protective covering. But the chances of infection are very high. You can talk to your dentist about your smoking habits and he or she may disinfect the area, put in special dental paste and seal it with gauze. However, multiple visits to the doctor might be required to ensure that the socket is cleaned and re-bandaged. Most dentists’ advice no-smoking after tooth extraction while advice abstinence from smoking for at least a day before the dental procedure is to be conducted. This is done so that the protective blood clots formation is done naturally.
In addition to the excruciating pain, dry socket has other noticeable symptoms including bad breath, bad taste in the mouth due to the infections. Whether the tooth extraction is needed or a root canal procedure conducted, it is imperative to stop smoking a day before. After the procedure has been successfully completed, do not smoke for a few days to ensure that healing follows a normal pattern. For optimal success of the dental implants, whitening treatments and other dental treatment procedures, smoking just after or within the next few days can mean the difference between a healthy gum and teeth and intensive pain and infections. Gum diseases and infections lead to debilitating bone structure damage, within the jaw while the raw nerves and tissue damage is heightened due to the toxic nicotine.
But if you are heavy smoker and cannot give up even for a day, it is best to talk to the doctor about the impending dental treatment and how best would they be able to protect the socket from the toxic smoke.