Wisdom teeth are teeth that you probably do not need, and they can often lead to oral problems if they are left in your mouth. Because of this, getting these teeth extracted is quite common, even when a person is not experiencing any problems with these teeth. If you smoke and want to get these teeth extracted, you should realize the negative effects smoking can have on a person after they get their wisdom teeth removed. Here are three potential effects smoking may have on your oral health and the healing of your mouth after wisdom teeth extraction.
The first effect smoking has on the body is delayed healing. Smoking decreases the oxygen in your blood and slows the flow of blood through your body, and this is something that can lead to problems healing. While an oral wound may heal in time, it is likely that it will take longer for a person who smokes. Getting your wisdom teeth removed is a major procedure, and it takes time for the wounds to heal. When there is a delay in the healing process, it poses more risks to the body, including the risk of developing an infection.
After a dentist removes a wisdom tooth, there will be a large hole where the tooth once existed. In addition, your mouth will bleed. For the procedure to be successful, this area of your mouth must develop a blood clot. A blood clot is similar to a scab on a wound. It is there to allow the area to stop bleeding and to begin healing.
For smokers, it may take longer for the blood clots to form after wisdom teeth extraction, but that is not the only problem. The habit of sucking when smoking is a leading cause of blood clots failing. Drinking from a straw also requires this same type of sucking motion, which is why your dentist may advise you not to drink from a straw for several days. In addition, the nicotine in cigarettes can cause the blood clot to dry out and break down, and this too can lead to it coming loose. When a blood clot comes loose or falls out completely, it is called dry socket.
Dry socket is an extremely painful condition, and the pain is primarily caused from the exposure of the bone in your jaw. This bone can only be exposed when the blood clot falls out of place. The pain you will feel is a throbbing type of pain near the area of the extraction, but the pain can also spread to your face and ears. If you believe you may have dry socket, you should contact your dentist immediately.
Potential For Infection
Delayed healing of an oral wound leaves you prone to developing an infection, but that is not the only way smoking increases your risks of infection. Each cigarette you smoke contains around 4,700 chemicals, and these chemicals are harmful for fresh wounds.
A wound is more likely to heal faster and better when it is kept clean. Unfortunately, you cannot place bandages over wounds in the mouth to protect them. Because of this, each time you smoke after you get your teeth removed, you are posing risks to your wounds.
If you smoke and need to get your wisdom teeth removed, you may want to avoid smoking any cigarettes for a few days after the procedure is complete. This will not only be helpful for the healing of your wounds, but it can also help you avoid further problems, including dry socket. To learn more about wisdom teeth extraction, contact a dentist like Dale D. Lentz DDS in your area.