How Smoking Can Adversely Affect Any Type Of Oral Surgery

There are many confirmed reasons for quitting smoking that have included addiction, healthy appearance of teeth, lung health, not to mention a wide array of different cancers that are directly linked to smoking and the many chemicals put in cigarettes. Another reason in the long list that can be added to the reason  people should quit includes the confirmed fact that smoking can have heavily negative effects in the healing of oral surgery.

Smoking Affects Healing

Every dentist or oral surgeon will tell a patient that they need to stop smoking for as long as possible during or after a procedure. After a wisdom tooth extraction or damaged tooth removal, for example, smoking can make it much harder for the blood to clot and even loosen blood clots that are in place, reopening the wound and making it much slower and much more painful to heal. The longer that damage is open, the more likely infection will rear its ugly head, as well.

In addition to that, the sucking motion from smoking is similar to the same reason you are not supposed to drink out of a straw. It pulls on the blood clots and hurts your overall dental health.

Increases Chances Of Dry Socket

In addition to the issues with clotting, infection and healing, smoking drastically increases the chances of having a dry socket during the healing process. This is extremely painful in addition to often requiring additional work to fix. It’s never the type of thing you want to deal with after oral surgery but if you continue to smoke, then that becomes a distinct possibility.

Even Makes Implants An Iffy Proposition

Dental implants have come a long way and boast a 95% success rate in patients. This goes for top and bottom dental implants and goes to show just how many options people have for restoring that long lost smile. However, smokers are not nearly as lucky.

While a 95% success rate might seem like a slam dunk, those numbers absolutely plummet when smokers are pulled away as their own separate group. According to some dental experts, the numbers fall in the 50-70% range for implant success when dealing with smokers. [1]

The reason for that range is some studies show smokers at 70% while others have that number falling all the way down to 50%. Either way, that is an outright plummeting of success. This is just with the implants taking – it doesn’t even take into account that the very important step before that the grafting of bone in the gum line is also more likely to fail when a patient is smoking even very occasionally. Heavy smokers will make those success percentages fall even more.

Don’t Smoke After Dental Surgery!

The lesson here health wise should be very clear: drop the cigarettes and cigars when you are going through any type of dental procedure. They are bad enough for your health as is, but can make it more difficult when recovering from any kind of dental surgery.


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