Smoking before or after Wisdom Tooth Extraction Can Cause Pain, Infection
If you're having a wisdom tooth extraction and you smoke, you should know about the risk of painful complications from smoking soon before or after the surgery.
When a wisdom tooth is removed, there is a hole in your gum, called a socket, at the bottom of which is bone. After successful surgery, a blot clot forms in the socket to seal it off and protect the bone, tender tissue, and nerve ending while they heal. Smoking can dislodge the protective clot, exposing the bone, tissue, and, most painful, the sensitive nerves. The condition is called a dry socket.
Infection of Dry Socket a Risk
Along with the pain, which can last nearly a week while the socket heals without benefit of a protective clot, there is a good likelihood of infection. Fortunately, there is treatment for the condition. Your dentist can make sure the socket is disinfected, then seal it with medicated gauze or a special dental paste. You may have to return to your dentist each day for a few days to have the socket repacked.
Besides not smoking for a few days while the socket heals, it is recommended that you not smoke for at least a day before the extraction, since smoking beforehand can make proper formation of the protective clot more difficult.
Additional Symptoms of Dry Socket
Other symptoms of a dry socket, in addition to pain, are bad breath or a bad smell or taste in the mouth, due to the developing infection.
Having wisdom teeth extracted is not something most people look forward to, but it is often necessary to prevent crowding and misalignment of other teeth. An experienced oral surgeon can ensure that the process goes as smoothly as possible and will minimize discomfort during recovery. If your dentist has recommended that you consider wisdom tooth extraction, contact an oral surgeon today.
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