What Can Happen If I Smoke After Oral Surgery?

 

smoking-oral-surgery-austin-oral-surgery-300x225After oral surgery, you’ll be advised to quit smoking for at least five days. The reason behind this is that smoking can dislodge the blood clot at the surgery site and lead to a condition known as dry socket.

Dry socket is an infection that can occur in the empty tooth socket after a tooth extraction. The infection develops when the blood clot that forms in the socket becomes dislodged or dissolves, leaving the bone and nerve exposed to the air, food and germs in your mouth.  Dry socket can lead to severe pain that lasts as long as five or six days.

After an extraction, your oral surgeon will advise you to stick to a soft food diet and avoid using straws and smoking cigarettes. The reason behind these guidelines is to minimize your chance of disturbing the blood clot and give your mouth time to heal.

Smoking, however, poses an even larger threat because it actually slows the healing process too. When you smoke, your blood vessels shrink and deliver less oxygen and fewer nutrients to the wound area. Smoking also draws carbon monoxide into your blood cells which lowers your oxygen levels overall. Less oxygen and fewer nutrients means a longer healing time and an increased risk of developing an infection.

To learn more about post-surgery recommendations or to schedule an appointment, contact Austin Oral Surgery today.