If you’re dealing with a tooth infection and might need a root canal, one of the first recommendations your dentist will make is to stop smoking for a few days.
It might not seem like it, but a root canal is a major procedure, and your body will need time to heal. Being in such a vulnerable state also increases your chances of developing certain complications.
In general, quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for your overall oral health. But keep reading to find out why you shouldn’t smoke after a root canal.
What Happens When You Smoke After a Root Canal?
Smokers find a lot of benefits. Unfortunately, there are some processes that can happen every time you light a cigarette, which needs to be avoided after a root canal:
- Inflammation - Smoking increases inflammation, which can impact your body’s ability to fight an infection. While the root canal was done to remove the infection, some bacteria might have been left behind, or the infection could have already spread to other tissue. Inflammation makes it harder for the body to naturally fight it;
- Delayed healing - Many studies show that smoking impacts the body’s ability to heal. This can mean you may be experiencing uncomfortable symptoms such as pain or swelling longer than you need to;
- Biting your tongue or cheek - Before a root canal, your Fremont dentist will numb the tooth so that you do not feel any pain. However, nearby areas such as your tongue, cheek, or lip will also be numb, which means you’re more likely to bite them hard by accident while you smoke.
How Long Should You Avoid Smoking After a Root Canal?
This depends on your body’s ability to heal, but in most cases, patients should avoid smoking for at least 3-4 days after a root canal, possibly even longer.
Note that a root canal may be the perfect opportunity to quit smoking altogether. Apart from affecting your post-procedure healing, smoking also increases your risks for tooth infections, cavities, gum disease, on top of the risk it poses to your overall health.
Tips That Can Help You Avoid Smoking
- Take your mind off smoking by going for a walk or participating in your favorite hobby
- Avoid your smoking triggers
- Switch cigarettes for sugar-free gum or hard candy
- Try working out
- Remove all cigarettes, ashtrays, and lighters from your home
Need a Root Canal? Stop By for an Appointment
If your tooth is infected or has a severe cavity, a root canal procedure might be the only way to avoid an extraction and prevent further oral health complications. Dr. Adam Lamprecht can see you as soon as possible to help reduce your discomfort.
Are you in severe pain? Then call us right away at (402) 721-0488 for emergency care.