Kick the Habit: How Long to Not Smoke before Wisdom Teeth


    To promote proper healing, one should abstain from smoking for at least 72 hours before wisdom teeth removal. Wisdom teeth extraction is a common surgical procedure that requires some preparation beforehand, including refraining from smoking.

    Smoking can lead to complications during and after the surgery since the habit reduces blood flow and slows down the healing process, increasing the risk of dry socket and infections at the surgical site. It is important to understand the effects of smoking on your body and the surgery before undergoing wisdom teeth removal.

    In this article, we will discuss the importance of not smoking before wisdom teeth removal and its potential risks.

    Kick the Habit: How Long to Not Smoke before Wisdom Teeth


    The Effects Of Smoking On Recovery Time

    Wisdom teeth extraction is a common dental procedure that many people undergo. To ensure a smooth and speedy recovery, there are certain guidelines to follow. One of the most important ones is to avoid smoking. The effects of smoking can significantly impact the healing process and increase the risk of complications.

    In this section, we will explore the impact of smoking on recovery from oral surgery.

    Increased Risk Of Dry Socket

    Dry socket is a painful condition that occurs when the blood clot that forms after tooth extraction becomes dislodged, exposing the bone and nerves. Smokers are at a higher risk of developing dry socket because smoking impairs blood flow, inhibiting the formation of the blood clot.

    Here are some key points to keep in mind:

    • Smokers are four times more likely to experience dry socket compared to non-smokers.
    • The risk of dry socket increases with the number of cigarettes smoked after surgery.
    • Avoid smoking for at least 72 hours after wisdom teeth extraction to minimize the risk of dry socket.

    Delayed Healing

    Smoking can also delay the healing process by reducing blood flow to the gums and bone tissue. This, in turn, can lead to complications such as infections and prolonged pain. Here are some points to consider:

    • Nicotine in cigarettes constricts blood vessels, reducing the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the wound site.
    • Carbon monoxide reduces the amount of oxygen that can be carried by the blood, further compromising the healing process.
    • Smokers are more likely to experience complications during the healing period, such as infections and slow recovery.

    Increased Risk Of Infection

    Smoking weakens the immune system, making smokers more susceptible to infections. After a wisdom teeth extraction, the risk of infection is already increased due to the open wound in the mouth. Smoking can further increase this risk, leading to complications such as fever, swelling, and pus discharge.

    Here are some points to note:

    • Smoking increases the risk of infection by reducing the body’s ability to fight off bacteria and viruses.
    • Smokers may need to take antibiotics to prevent infections, which can further delay the healing process.
    • Avoid smoking for at least a week after wisdom teeth extraction to reduce the risk of infection.

    Smoking is detrimental to the healing process after wisdom teeth extraction. To ensure a smooth and speedy recovery, it is essential to avoid smoking for at least 72 hours to a week after the procedure. By doing so, you can reduce the risk of dry socket, delayed healing, and infection, all of which can lead to severe complications.

    The Ideal Timeframe For Quitting

    Smoking is one of the leading causes of perioperative complications, and it increases the risks of delayed healing, infection, and bleeding after surgery. Therefore, it is essential to quit smoking before wisdom teeth extraction to reduce the risks of any associated complications.

    But how long should one abstain from smoking before the surgery? Let’s examine the recommended ideal timeframe for quitting.

    The Two-Week Rule

    Dentists and oral surgeons usually recommend quitting smoking at least two weeks before the wisdom teeth extraction procedure. This two-week rule applies to patients who smoke every day, and it’s based on the length of time that nicotine and its metabolites remain in the bloodstream.

    Here are some key points to consider:

    • Nicotine is a vasoconstrictor, which means it decreases blood flow to the mouth tissues.
    • Carbon monoxide in cigarette smoke reduces oxygen delivery to the healing tissues.
    • Smoking can compromise the immune system, making it harder for the body to fight off infections.

    Therefore, quitting smoking two weeks before the surgery can help give the body enough time to wash out the harmful chemicals from the system and decrease the associated perioperative risks.

    Longer Abstinence Is Better

    While two weeks is the minimum timeframe to quit smoking before the surgery, the longer the abstinence, the better the outcome. If possible, patients should quit smoking at least four to six weeks before the wisdom teeth extraction. Here are some additional key points to consider:

    • The longer the time frame between quitting smoking and the surgery, the less likely the smoker will experience any perioperative complications.
    • Prolonged abstinence before the surgery can help improve the overall health status and immune system function.

    Quitting smoking before the wisdom teeth extraction can help reduce the risks of perioperative complications. The recommended ideal timeframe for abstaining from smoking before the surgery is at least two weeks, but longer abstinence is better for improving overall health and reducing the risk of complications.

    Tips For Quitting Smoking

    Practical Tips For Quitting Smoking

    Quitting smoking can be a challenging task, but it is essential to do if you plan on having wisdom teeth extracted. Here are some practical tips to help you quit this unhealthy habit:

    • Find a support group: Surround yourself with friends and family members who are supportive and can help you through the process of quitting.
    • Create a plan: Decide on a quit date and stick to it. Make a plan for how you will handle cravings and what activities you will replace smoking with.
    • Keep busy: Avoid situations that trigger your cravings or make you feel bored. Find new hobbies or activities to keep your mind and body occupied.
    • Exercise regularly: Exercise can help reduce stress and increases your mood, making it easier to resist cravings.
    • Consider nicotine replacement therapy: Nicotine patches, gum, and lozenges can help reduce withdrawal symptoms and make quitting easier.
    • Avoid alcohol: Alcohol can weaken your resolve to quit smoking, so it is best to avoid it while you are trying to quit.
    • Stay positive: Reward yourself for milestones achieved and stay motivated by keeping your reasons for quitting in mind.
    • Use technology to your advantage: Consider downloading apps that can provide support and tracking your progress.
    • Seek professional help: If you are struggling, consider reaching out to a healthcare professional who can provide additional support and resources.
    • Do not give up: Remember that quitting smoking is a process, and it may take some time to see results. Stay persistent and consistent in your efforts.

    Quitting smoking is crucial before having wisdom teeth extracted to promote proper healing and reduce the risk of complications. Implementing these practical tips can help you quit smoking and improve your overall health and wellbeing. Remember to stay positive and not give up, and seek professional help if needed.

    Frequently Asked Questions For How Long To Not Smoke Before Wisdom Teeth

    How Long Should I Not Smoke Before My Wisdom Teeth Extraction?

    You should stop smoking at least 48 hours before the extraction procedure. Ideally, you should stop smoking a week before the procedure, and not smoke for at least a week after the surgery. Smoking can cause complications, slow down the healing process, and increase the risk of infections.

    Can I Smoke After My Wisdom Teeth Are Removed?

    It’s best to avoid smoking for a week or more after your wisdom teeth extraction. Smoking can slow down the healing process and increase the risk of infections and complications. If you really need to smoke, wait at least 48 hours and rinse your mouth with water or salt water to remove any residual smoke particles.

    How Does Smoking Affect The Healing Process After Wisdom Teeth Extraction?

    Smoking can cause vasoconstriction, reducing blood flow to the tissues, impairing the healing process, and increasing the risk of infections and complications. It can also delay the formation of blood clots and reduce the effectiveness of the immune system, leading to delayed healing, pain, and swelling.

    Can Nicotine Patches Or Gum Be Used After Wisdom Teeth Extraction?

    Nicotine patches or gum can still increase the risk of complications after wisdom teeth extraction. Moreover, they can also cause dry socket, which is a painful condition that occurs when the blood clot is dislodged from the socket. It’s best to avoid any form of nicotine use for at least a week after the surgery.

    How Can I Manage Smoking Cessation Before And After Wisdom Teeth Extraction?

    Smoking cessation is challenging but important to ensure proper healing after wisdom teeth extraction. You can try nicotine replacement therapy, such as gum or patches, avoid triggers, such as caffeine or alcohol, and seek support from family and friends. Talk to your dentist or doctor for more advice and strategies.


    After undergoing wisdom teeth extraction surgery, it is essential to take proper care and avoid activities or behaviors that might slow down the healing process. Smoking is harmful to the body, and it can significantly affect the recovery process. It is recommended to not smoke for at least 72 hours after wisdom teeth extraction, as smoking can delay the healing process by restricting blood flow to the gums and prolong the pain.

    In addition, smoking can increase the risk of developing infections and may lead to further complications. Therefore, it is advisable to avoid smoking altogether since it is harmful to your overall health, and can cause permanent damage to your lungs, heart, and other body organs.

    By following the recommended time frame and not smoking before and after the surgery, you can ensure a faster and smoother recovery while also maintaining your oral and overall health.


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