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Smoking after tooth extraction



Staff member
Jan 1, 2005
The first 24 hours are the most critical. The first 72 are very important. The NHS advice is to not smoke for at least 24-72 hours.

Realistically, if you can leave off the cigarettes for a couple of hours, then the worst of the clotting problems will be over with.

However, the smoking will impair blood flow and compromise the healing. This will increase your chance of a dry socket until you get to about 5 days. As dry socket can be extremely painful, it is best not to smoke at all in the days following an extraction.

There is another risk in smoking after tooth extraction: after an extraction, the smoke contacts the body directly without any skin protection, which increases the risk of cancer, especially oral cancer.

If you really have to smoke, cover the extraction site with a wet sterile gauze and let the smoke stay as far as possible away from the wounded tissue. In most cases, normal tap water is OK to use for wetting the gauze (presuming the tap water in your area is safe to drink). However, if you have a condition such as diabetes which can impair the healing process, it may be advisable to use sterile water for wetting the gauze.

If you would like to stop smoking but the task seems too daunting, you can find information on what might help on this page:

If you have unsuccessfully tried to stop smoking in the past, you may find e-cigarettes more effective than traditional methods.

You can also find more tips here: https://www.dentalfearcentral.org/faq/gum-disease/#quit_smoking
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