Posted by South Austin Dental Associates 2023-11-09

Tooth Extraction in Austin, TX

Smoking often causes bad breath, bacterial growth, plaque build-up, and gum inflammation. These conditions make brushing difficult, leaving tooth extraction as the only viable option. Ahead, our Austin dental office explains tooth extractions and ways smoking after tooth removal can affect the healing process.


Tooth extraction is a procedure that involves removing a tooth along with its roots. This procedure can be harsh on the teeth, create a hole in your gum line, and leave your mouth in a vulnerable state for some time.

After tooth removal, the affected area will bleed, making it necessary to use gauze and apply pressure to the spot. After some time, the bleeding stops, and a blood clot forms. The blood clot aids in healing and should not be dislodged. To prevent dislodging the blood clot, dentists advise against rinsing your mouth, spitting, or even using a straw for 24 hours until the clot is completely dry.

Other ways to limit clot dislodge and speed up recovery after a tooth extraction include avoiding heavy activities such as exercise, drinking alcohol, hot beverages, and eating hard foods. Most importantly, you should avoid smoking!


It’s common for avid smokers to feel the urge to smoke after tooth extraction. However, smoking before the affected area has completely healed can lead to complications and harm your overall oral health. Here are some of the adverse effects and risks of smoking after tooth extraction:

  1. Sucking and suction actions when smoking can dislodge the blood clot leaving the wound open, cause infections and delay the healing process.
  2. Exhaling smoke can loosen the blood clot and result in a dry socket. Dry sockets cause excruciating pain in the mouth that extends to the neck, eyes, or ears. Additionally, you may experience bad breath and an awful taste in your mouth.
  3. Tobacco in cigarettes contains nicotine and other chemicals which cause inflammation and bleeding. Also, nicotine holds back the amount of oxygen in the blood, thus affecting healing.
  4. Toxins from cigarette smoke can irritate the gums around the extraction site and can cause some pain. Moreover, cigarette smoke contains chemicals that increase infection risk due to a high chance of bacteria settling into the extraction location.
  5. Smoking affects blood flow to the extraction site, thereby prolonging the healing process.
  6. Tobacco can cause gum disease, weaken the roots and make teeth fall out.
  7. Chemicals and heat from cigarette smoke are harmful to your gums, teeth, and soft tissues and increase your chances of developing oral disease.

To avoid experiencing the above risks, dentists recommend you keep off cigarettes, vapes, and other stimulants for at least 3-5 days after tooth extraction. At the same time, you can look into resources that can help you manage smoking cravings and work towards quitting smoking altogether.

Tooth Extractions At South Austin Dental Associates

Tooth extraction procedures are complex and should be done by compassionate and knowledgeable staff. At South Austin Dental Associates, we use state-of-the-art technologies and give all our clients personalized and high-quality care. Call us at (512) 444-1133 today to set up an appointment.

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