Dry socket is a painful condition that can develop after a tooth is pulled. Smoking is a common cause of dry socket. Therefore, many people ask how to smoke after tooth extraction without getting dry socket.

The best thing to do is to quit smoking, at least until the extraction site heals. But this can take up to two weeks, according to WebMD. Dentists recommend not smoking for at least 48 hours after an extraction. Some smokers can’t wait that long. We are not here to judge. We’ll help you understand dry socket and give you tips on avoiding it if you do smoke after an extraction.

Man smoking cigarette closeup

What Causes Dry Socket?

When you have a tooth pulled, it leaves a hole in your gum. A blood clot forms in this hole to protect the nerves and tissue exposed by the missing tooth. This blood clot stays in place until the gum can grow to fill the hole in.

Sometimes, this clot gets dislodged before the gum has time to fully heal. This exposes the tender tissue beneath. Once exposed like this, air and food can get into the hole and cause serious pain and bad breath. Infection may also set in.

Sucking on the end of a cigarette can dislodge the protective blood clot and cause dry socket. Consider how many puffs you take from each cigarette, then think about how many cigarettes you smoke in a day. That is a lot of sucking when you are not supposed to be sucking at all.

That is how smoking after a tooth extraction can cause dry socket. But you can’t smoke without sucking. So how to smoke after a tooth extraction without getting dry socket? It can be a bit tricky. But now that you understand a little about the condition, we can look at how it can be done.

How To Smoke After a Tooth Extraction Without Getting Dry Socket

1. Suck Gently and Don’t Get Smoke Inside

You must keep two things in mind. First, you should suck as gently as possible to prevent stress on the blood clot. Second, you must keep smoke out of the extraction site. This is important because the cigarette smoke can slow the healing process.

2. Covering with the Tongue

Some people try to cover the extraction site with their tongue while they draw on a cigarette. This usually doesn’t work very well. It is also awkward and uncomfortable.

3. Gauze

The best possible method involves gauze. For you, this may be how to smoke after tooth extraction without getting dry socket. Cut a piece of sterile gauze to about one square inch. Wet it with cold water and fold it to a size a little bigger than the hole in your gum. This will be your temporary filling.

Place your gauze filling into the hole and bite down on it gently. Biting down creates a seal that prevents suction and keeps the smoke out. Now your temporary filling is in place and the extraction site is pretty much sealed off.

Inhale gently from your cigarette. Remember, this is not a tried and true method. It is recommended that you don’t smoke until you are healed. We are only trying to prevent dry socket for those who just can’t quit smoking for a while.

Other Things To Consider

Since you are reading this, we want you to know some other things about avoiding dry socket.

Of course, the best way for a smoker to prevent dry socket after an extraction is to quit smoking. This is just another reason to quit. But if you can’t, there may be some other ways you can satisfy your need for a cigarette.

1. Nicotine Patches

Consider getting some nicotine patches. They go on your arm and release a steady stream of nicotine into your bloodstream. This eases your cigarette cravings. The patch may keep you sane long enough for your gum to heal without smoking.

2. Sublingual Lozenges

Maybe sublingual nicotine lozenges will be a better way for you to go. You don’t have to suck on them at all. You simply let them dissolve under your tongue. The gauze filling may still be a good idea because it will keep the dissolved lozenge out of the hole.

3. E-Juice Sublingually

Some people have used e-juice sublingually. There has not been much research done on this. More research should be done on this before you can say it’s how to smoke after tooth extraction without getting dry socket.

4. No Nicotine Gum

Do not use nicotine gum. Chewing gum causes more suction in the mouth than you may think. It also causes a lot of saliva production, which can cause problems.

What To Do About Dry Socket Caused By Smoking

No suggestions we give about how to smoke after a tooth extraction without getting dry socket are approved by medical professionals. These tips are only for the people who cannot quit smoking, not even for 48 hours.

If you do continue to smoke before you have healed, you should know the symptoms of dry socket. They are:

  • Increasing pain that may spread to the ear;
  • Visible bone in extraction hole;
  • The absence of blood clot;
  • Bad breath;
  • Unusual metallic taste in the mouth.

If you notice any of these symptoms, you should call your dentist right away. Dry socket itself is not very serious, but it can make it easier for infection to set in. The pain caused by it can be unbearable.

The Main Takeaways…

Let’s break it down into a simple flow of options.

After your extraction:

  • Quit smoking! Now you have another reason.
  • If you can’t quit forever, quit for at least 48 hours after your procedure.
  • You can’t quit at all? Use a nicotine patch until you are healed.
  • Is the patch not for you? Use the temporary gauze filling method. Be careful and suck gently.
  • Be on the lookout for signs of dry socket. If you notice any, contact your dentist as soon as possible so you don’t end up with an infection.

There’s no way to safely smoke after a tooth extraction, but following our advice may help you avoid dry socket. Also, remember that there are plenty of remedies for tooth extraction healing, so you might want to check those out as well.

Image source: depositphotos.com