It is bad enough that you’ve been through tooth extraction, but you might be a smoker and your dentist told you not to smoke for a while. The average time that you shouldn’t smoke is for 48 to 72 hours, and this for any extraction, including wisdom teeth removal. But why is that so important?

Smoking can have a lot of negative effects on the healing of a socket after a tooth was extracted. The socket is the bony hollow in which the tooth was located before extraction. This socket is an open wound in the mouth, and will take months before healing completely. But the first days are very critical. That is why dentists have a list of recommendations to follow after tooth extraction that includes not smoking.

Here’s why smoking is bad:

  • it may cause dry socket, which is a very painful condition that happens when the blood clot at the site of the tooth extraction fails to develop normally; or if the blood clot dislodges or dissolves from the socket;
  • it may also cause a delay in healing, because substances in cigarettes and other tobacco products are toxic for the socket that is undergoing the healing process.

But think about it, those toxic chemicals in cigarette smoking reach other parts of your respiratory organs. So even if you didn’t have tooth extraction, smoking will affect your body in a very negative way. It is therefore a good idea to stop smoking for better health.


  1. Ozkan A, Bayar GR, Altug HA, Sencimen M, Dogan N, Gunaydin Y, Ergodan E., The effect of cigarette smoking on the healing of extraction sockets: an immunohistochemical study, J Craniofac Surg. 2014 Nov;25(6):2273.

The information above should be used as a reference only. Any medical decision should not be taken before consulting a health care professional.

The masculine gender may have been more used in the article, but without prejudice, to make reading easier.

Category: Q & A