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Can smoking cause dry socket?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

Smoking can cause dry socket. A smoker will inhale, sucking on a cigarette. This action can dislodge the clot in the socket. Smoking also reduce blood supply to the affected area, reduces healing, introduces toxins to the area, and can injure the gums.

Cigarette smoking or other tobacco use can delay healing of dry socket. That's because the sucking action on the cigarette can dislodge the clot that is forming in order to heal the socket. This should be avoided for the first three to five days or so while the area around the tooth extraction is healing.

Your dentist will advise you of what other post extraction regimens to follow.
Smoking can cause dry socket, a painful condition when a blood clot dislodges after a tooth extraction. The sucking motion of cigarette smoking can pull the clot from the hole in your gum. Also, the chemicals in cigarettes prevent your body from healing quickly. When you smoke, you inhale harmful toxins that decrease your supply of red blood cells to the wound. When having a tooth removed, it's best to avoid smoking both before and after the procedure. 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.