Why is it bad to smoke after tooth extraction?

Man in Pain, Wanting to SmokeSmoking is very bad for your health, and especially after your dentist has removed a tooth. Ideally, if you need to smoke, you must wait 48 to 72 hours after the surgery. If someone tells you to wait only 4 hours, do it at your own risk!

The reason you must wait is that smoking can slow down the healing process in your mouth, and even cause serious complications. The smoke has chemical toxins that not only harm your lungs but also your surgery site. Also, the suction done when smoking can dislodge the blood cloth from the socket it is in.

One major complication is called dry socket. It is a very painful condition around the tooth extraction site, which can cause bad smell and limit how big your open your mouth. It usually happens 3-4 days after the surgery. If you do nothing, it will eventually go away, but if you see a dentist, he can put a desensitizing drug to make it go faster.

Full Article: When Can Someone Smoke after a Tooth Extraction?
In French: Pourquoi est-ce qu’il ne faut pas fumer aprΓ¨s avoir enlevΓ© une dent?


215 thoughts on “Why is it bad to smoke after tooth extraction?”

  1. I had 5 front top teeth pulled on Wednesday and it is now Saturday. Is it ok to smoke. I also had a back lower tooth out also on the same day but dyeing for a smoke

  2. I got my tooth pulled on my upper left side of my mouth on Thursday at 3:05pm its been 4 days now can I smoke without the gauze and it be OK if not I’ll wait till after a week if I have to I do not want a dry socket I’m scared to get one but can I smoke and drink a coke now.

  3. Hey ok so I had all 4 wisdom teeth pulled (I believe 2 where impacted) on tuesday morning at 9am it is now friday 9:30 am and Im wanting a cigarette so bad! Im stikl having a little stiffness and soreness but very little compared to the past days. I also looked in my mouth and saw white spots where my teeth where pulled…. im wondering if it would be safe to have a cigarette.

  4. Hey Doc,

    I had one of my top 4 teeth pulled Thursday(it is now Saturday) and a bone graft & tissue restoration & I was told that the little piece of dissolvable paper they put under the sutures to keep the bone grafts bonding materials from coming out might come out & it has indeed started coming out. I was just worried that it was coming out too soon since it’s only been 2 days. The sutures started coming undone immediately upon coming home after the procedure & my dentist(who was supposed to be on call) is not returning my phone calls. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. It’s also been fairly tender(mostly my face & gums) and I have had an excruciating headache. The bonding material(grainy stuff) is coming out too which they said is normal, but again I feel like it shouldn’t be happening so soon. I am willing to go see an emergency dental service, but I just wanted to seek some advice before calling an emergency dental clinic because I am worried that they will tell me to come in & charge me out the nose over something that might not be too serious. Thank you very much for your time! It is GREATLY appreciate sir.


    1. Hello Acacia,

      I don’t think the fact that the membrane (dissolvable paper) coming out too soon will compromise the healing of your extraction. It is not an emergency, but when you see your dentist again, he or she will look if the bone graft has worked well. But tell him/her what happened.

      Until then I recommend not to eat very hard foods, and not to rinse your mouth with mouthwash or any liquid in order not to make the graft material come out too much.

  5. Hey doc my name is Rebecca and got two tooth pulled today and I was wondering what if I got gauze cover up over where my tooth been pulled is it still not ok to smoke?

  6. It’s been 103 hours since I got a top molar removed. I can see the clot, I’ve been making myself crazy and didn’t smoke for 96 hours and finally had a few very careful drags. I slept upright in bed the first night, I’m still eating very very soft foods. Wondering when ill be able to have a few drinks. Got my tooth pulled day after my bday and I haven’t had a chance to do anything…

  7. i got one of my top front teeth removed and the dentist left a split on my gums starting frim the tooth to the very top of my gum line and they did not put in stretches is that ok

  8. hi my name is Laura, I got my tooth pulled out Friday at about 12.30. the dentist told me not to smoke for 48 hours. I have a little bit of a smoke about 43 hours after. today at 12.30 it will be 72 hours. I have read a bit about dry socket doesn’t sound to good. do you recon I would be fine now to smoke and not get dry socket. thanks πŸ™‚

  9. Hey I had my bottom tooth removed 2 hous ago it says wait 24 hours but im losin wilpower . How bad is this dry socket? Wil I do damage if I smoke or wil I risk doing damage

  10. Doctor,
    I have had a browse of medical studies and articles available on this and it doesn’t appear to me that 72 hours is any better than 24 hours unless you consider all the other factors, for example the method of smoking and the number of cigarettes per time interval. So someone who takes enormous drags of cigarettes is more likely to physically dislodge the clot. Someone that is very cautious and inhales without sucking should be ok. As for oxygen, 1 cig per 24 hours is not going to alter overall daily oxygen circulation by enough at the site of the wound. And finally for quality of the blood and the healing process itself, most of the damaging effects from smoking takes months to correct, so it is pointless for someone to try to remedy that damage in 72 hours.

    In seems like the advise should be if you are planning on having a tooth extraction, then stop smoking for three days BEFORE the procedure to stand some chance of having healthy oxygenated blood and a little remedy to circulatory system – stopping after for weeks it could already be too late to be of use in the critical first 24 hours. Secondly, the advise after does not need to be 3 days…it could be 1 day but if you do smoke use minimal effort when inhaling, be gentle, use common-sense, etc. 72 hours isn’t a magic number and makes no sense as the sole piece of advise (apart from the obvious ‘stop smoking’).

    best wishes,
    Daniel King.

  11. Hi doctor I have had bone graft which was my own bone. I would like to know how long it takes to heal completely and do u think my own bone is more successful than a donor’s bone?

    sorry for postin it on wrong catigory

  12. I still have slight pain/discomfort where my bottom wisdom teeth were extracted, but it has been 72 hours. Is it safe to smoke even if there is some pain (the pain has diminished since the extraction)?

  13. I did not have any teeth extracted but I did have parts of my gum removed due to the fact that after my wisdom teeth extraction my gums healed wrong. Is it still bad to smoke? Even if it was a virtually painless procedure and hardly any bleeding occurred? It isnt even painful and its like a small slit at the back on my mouth

    1. Gwen I think you will be fine. But if you want to make sure it heals well, you can try not to smoke for a few days. But dry socket happens only when a tooth was extracted, not following gum surgery.

  14. ive had thiss also!.. i got my back top molar extracted yest. morn. i am a heavy smoker n with all my stress couldnt help but take a couple drags of a cigarette today.. i was careful with how much force i was sucking the cigarette, i also covered it with a damp gauze during, and rinsed with salted water after. What are my chances of dry socket? i really dont want to deal with that much pain.

  15. Hi Dr. I had the rest of my teeth pulled on Wednesday which was 16 of them and I can’t wear my dentures cause I got swollen so fast but now its Saturday do u think its ok to smoke.I’m still in ls of pain but everything is healing great I saw my dentist yesterday

  16. Hi there,

    I had my wisdom tooth out this morning and was wondering why the paper work my dentist gave me says I can’t smoke for 24hrs not 72hrs are they just completely wrong? As I am a heavy smoker and am pushing myself to not smoke for these 24hrs as it is?!


    1. Nathalie, when I graduated we use to advise people not to smoke for 4 hours only. That was 12 years ago. But we noticed that some people still had dry socket. So to be safe 72 hours is better.

  17. Hey doc, I would like to ask you two questions: can you develop dry socket without smoking, like it just occurs??
    and i have only smoked not even two whole cigarettes, would it be safe after 48 hours- to 54 hours or best to wait until 72 hrs- 80 hrs loop smoke?? thanks

    1. Lee, 72 hours is your best time. And yes someone can develop dry socket without smoking. That’s why it’s important not to drink through a straw for a few days. It can also develop without doing anything bad.

    2. hiya doc im on my 3rd day post tooth extraction top left molar all of the white stuff has completly gone is this ok ? it wasnt food and i wasnt expecting it to go so quickly

  18. Ok so I had my top two wisdom teeth removed on Thursday July 5th. I haven’t felt any pain really just some soreness I can’t see my extraction site and was wondering how I can tell of the blood clot formed normally. I have been able to eat normal food but I’ll chew with my front teeth to avoid getting food in the hole. Also how can I tell if I have food caught in the holes? I’m just really scared of getting dry socket or causing any pain.

    1. Theresa, a blood clot takes different shapes and has different colours as the socket heals, so I advise not to worry about what it looks like. If there is food in the hole, you would feel it, unless it’s just a few hours after surgery and you are still numb. You are not advised to rinse with salted water the first 24 hours, but after that you can do so to remove food stuck in your socket. Also you can buy a syringe at the pharmacy, with a plastic tip (not metal, very important), and inject salted water mildly in your socket to dislodge food. I hope this helps.

  19. Dr i had all of my top teeth extracted on monday there are dissolvable stitches in my mouth now i am so ready for a cigarette since i had this done on monday and it is now thursday is it ok to smoke a cigarette or what precautions should i take if i do smoke?

    I went in monday morning at 8am and it is now thursday at 11 am.

  20. Hello, I had tooth number 18 extracted on June 29, it is now July 4th is it safe to smoke? Even if my oral surgeon stitched my incision? Also I was out on antibiotics prior to my surgery and it has been two weeks, but I still taste the infection in my mouth what do I do?

    1. Another question I have is should I avoid excessive heat? I heard from a few people that I should stay out of the sun. Is that true?

  21. I had my top tooth removed yesterday it cracked in half the doctor pulled it out .. Im nervouse of getting dry socket .. today it feels so much better.How will I know If i have dry socket..? thank you.

  22. I had my back upper wisdom teeth extracted today and when look at the hole it seems empty with no blood clot is this normal i don’t know what a clot look like.., I just know I see a hole where the tooth was, I know it still needs healing I’m just afraid I might of spit out the colt with the little bit of spitting I did after switching gaz several times,. And I understand u can’t smoke cigarettes due to the suction done by inhaling, there is suction done but not as much if you take small tokes.., what do you have to say that can help with my confusion thank you Dr.

  23. i had at tooth on upper side middle takein out on mon 12 clock and tues went bk cause was swollen im taken antibotics for it now it thurs 9pm can i smoke with out putin gaze in spot?

  24. hi doctor how are you? i had my right lower molar extracted on may 28th and today is 4th of june. i havent smoke yet can i now do it… i do not have a pain. i am eating normal since 48 hours after extraction. the only pain i have is where the doctor put two anesthesia injections. plz tell me if i can smoke and if yes then do i have to put gauze on place.. please answer soon thank u

  25. hi mate ,this isnt about smokin, i just had 5 of my top left sid mould an k9.an they said they snaped a root, an lost it, couldnt find it on xray an they said it might have gone up in to my signess but didnt give me much info on wat that means exactly,plus i was out of it when they where telling me,.im seeing a specialist in a month ,just wanted to know if i am in any imedetate danger from this an how do they get it out … kinda freaking out — thanks scotty

    1. Hi Scotty, if the root really went inside your sinus, then you might suffer of chronic sinus infection. Yes it would be advised to see a specialist. I don’t think you are in immediate danger. I advise you to express that you are worried to your dentist and I am sure he or she will take time and explain you what happened and what is the following procedure.

      1. (*not to do with smoking and sorry didn’t know how to ask new question)

        hi i got my back tooth taken out yesterday at 4;15 on the bottom and there is obviously a hole where the tooth and root used to be, will that hole eventualy even out and go flat once it heals or will there always be a dip there?

        Also the whole is a weird colour and desn’t realy look like its haeling, its a redy/black/grey colour, is this the clott because i dont realy know?

        I’ve read through some questions and have seen that you shouldn’t take out the clot, as i am not used to the gap i keep playing with it with my tongue, could this dislodge the clott and are there any ways of telling if the clott has been removed; bleeding for exanple,
        thanks for helping if you can

        1. Christina, the healing takes 3 months in all, after that your gums will look much better and there won’t be a hole anymore. Try not to play with the socket by putting your tongue on it.

      1. why do you have to wait 72 hours? does that mean after the 72 hour period the clot wont be able to dislodge anymore?

  26. I got my 13th tooth extracted on may 3rd and it is may 5 now is it ok to smoke and does it make a difference if I cut back drastically??????

  27. wjat are the c hances of getting dry socket if i smoke i just got my lower left wisdom tooth pulled almost 4 hrs ago

      1. Hi, sorry I’m not entirely sure how to ask a new question! Today I had my top wisdom tooth removed as it had been pushing down on my lower one and causing a lot of pain. The dentist told me not to smoke today but I didn’t realise quite why he’d said this and so I smoked a couple hours later anyway (very bad I know, I thought it was just extra caution). I have had around five cigarettes since and now I’ve come across all this information and become very worried! What can I do? Have I already pretty much set myself up for dry socket? I also think maybe I sucked the blood out of it when I was playing around with my tongue this afternoon. Please let me know if there is anything I can do now! Feel like such an idiot!

        1. Kate, the risk is higher yes, but if you do not smoke for the next two days chances might be on your side.

          If you do start feeling intense pain between three and five days after your extraction, inform your dentist right away. Put in mind that dry sockets occur more often when bottom teeth are extracted than upper ones.

  28. Doctor,
    I had a tiny tiny little tooth (like 1/10 to 1/8 the size of a normal molar), like an “extra” wisdom tooth, extracted today. The whole thing took 15 minutes, freezing, pull it out (i didnt even realize he was actually pulling it), put gause in… then pay and leave. Do i actually have a dry socket risk from this? it was on my top left at the very back

    1. Smoking is the number one cause for oral cancers. I am however not sure if the risk increases if smoking right after a tooth extraction. I would not think so but I never read anything about it.

  29. Hi, I had a my one of my left upper molar’s removed on Tuesday, And stupidly i smoked a few cigarettes that night, It is now Friday and i havnt smoked anything since. I have no pain or inflamtion but i have noticed that the blood clot is getting smaller and smaller. It started of being at the top of the gum to now being im guessing around 3-4mm inside. Is this normall? Also when will i be safe to smart smoking and maybe drink alchol?


    1. Carl, the way you are describing your blood clot is normal. As long as you don’t have intense pain or difficulty of opening your mouth. Smart smoking or smoking is OK after 72 hours. You can also drink alcohol as long as you don’t have prescribed medication like antibiotics or pain killers that are contra-indicated with alcohol.

  30. Hello Doctor! Amazing and very helpful blog. I am a smoker, bad I know, and I got my upper two wisdom teeth out without going under on Thursday, April 5th. Today would make it the two day mark is it safe to smoke yet? I’m TERRIFIED of getting a dry socket! Your blog has been extremely helpful thanks for taking the time to answer!

    1. Hi Adrienne, if you can wait one more day the risks of dry socket will be even lower. I understand that it can be hard. Maybe you can compensate by eating chocolate?

      And thank you so much for your kind compliments πŸ™‚

  31. Hi
    Would really appreciate your advice
    I do not smoke, but “vape” on an electronic e-cigarette which provides me with nicotine but none of the other harmful toxins as mentioned
    What is the situation with using these after tooth extraction

    1. Gaza,

      What might cause dry socket are not just the toxins in cigarettes, but also the suction done on it that might dislodge the clot. I believe that suction is also done with an e-cigarette, no?

  32. Hey Doc, this question isn’t about smoking but I couldn’t think of a better place to ask this online…anyway, a week before I got my tooth extracted because it was fractured (second tooth from the back on my right lower jaw) I was given antibiotics to stop the infection, I took 4 a day until my tooth got extracted on Wednesday the 28th and I still have some antibiotics left, am I supposed to continue taking them even after the tooth is pulled out? The dentist didn’t say anything about it, just that I shouldn’t drink alcohol or smoke for 3 days. Also, there appears to be a puss like substance covering the hole, is this normal? I don’t feel any pain so it could be just the healing process or food that wont get out but I’m not sure. Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Dustin, yes the antibiotics should all be taken like prescribed even if the tooth is extracted. Also the greyish substance that you see in the socket must be the blood clot, it usually looks like the way you describe it. Maybe you can show it to your dentist on your follow up appointment just to make sure.

  33. i had wisdom teeth out at 7:45 am on friday its been about 50 hours since all 4 been removed.. i was fine the day of removal and all day yesturday untill 2 in the morning it started to swell up and more pain is this normal..

  34. ijust wana ask u question abt when do stitches come off the dentist told it wil disolve it by self
    and i had them nearly2weeks now

    1. Sometimes stitches are so well tied that they last for weeks. Your dentist must be very good. They should still fall by themselves, but if they don’t next week I suggest you show them to your dentist and he or she will remove them definitely.

      1. Not sure how to start a new question…is it normal for the blood clot to get smaller as days pass? Today is the end of day 4 after my extraction of a lower molar. I resumed smoking yesterday and am scared to death of getting dry socket! As of today, the clot seems smaller in diameter and doesn’t come to the top of the hole where my tooth was. I hope this is a normal part of healing but my dentist was out over thje wekend and today, no one to ask at the office!

  35. ok so i got my lower tooth extracted its by my eye tooth because my adult tooth was cutting in would it be ok to smoke with the gauz or whatever in your mouth??

  36. I just got my up right and both bottoms wisdom teeth taken out on wednesday at 12 clock pm . it is now friday 830 pm. my mouth looks grosse nd the bottom right area kinda looks brown but may be from the brown totrilla soup n chickn broth ive been eating also. i feel like i can almost like taste liek a liquid almost idk if im tweekin or not but from my bottom right area . how do i know if i got a dry socket im sooooo worried. and when do you think it will be okay for me to smoke. i actually smoke a bowl threw my nose but very lightly nd also put gauzeo f area jus incase only did it twice not gonna do it again. all my friends are telling me im a pussy and that they all smoked cigs after n blunts . but im very worried about a dry socket. any help or tips ?? i havnt drank pop no straws no spittin im trying not even clear my throat as possibly or laugh hard cuz im afraid of gettin a dry socket. please help and is there anythign going on in my bottom right area it jus looks like white n red i gusse. please help me out 😦

  37. I have a question. I got number 14 on my top left removed. If I smoke will it hurt it? I’m taking very small hits and enhaling slowly.

  38. Thank you! Also thank you for the fast reply. I’ll stick off of all the good stuff for a couple more days, and I think I’ve decided to just quit smoking. I craved one bad the first day, but now I’m not even interested in it. Thanks again for the good news!

  39. I got my #12 removed on Wednesday evening. When I got home that night i was famished, so I had a bit of broccoli and cheese soup (and a soda, but only had 1, i learned later you should avoid sodas, oopsies). Anyways, shortly after eating I noticed a little chunk of broccoli come out of my socket so naturally I freaked out since I was told not to rinse for 24 hours. I went into the bathroom and looked into the socket and saw something whitish protruding. I wiggled it around with my tongue, was too scared to remove it in case it was important (blood clot? it was pretty white).

    Anyways, last night this thing started to slowly dislodge, I almost went in to a full blown panic attack, and this morning it finally came out while I was rinsing my mouth with warm salty water. I’ve had teeth extracted before and never experienced this, so I’m assuming it was in fact a chunk of food.

    My question is: did this chunk of stuff sitting in my socket for almost 2 days interfere with the healing process? Was this the blood clot that they warn you not to mess with? (I was super careful, I can’t see how I could have possibly dislodged the thing by accident)

    I’m feeling very minimal pain (the roof of my mouth is a bit sore, and I have a headache with a minorly irritated throat, but no pain coming from the socket besides the general tenderness from having my tooth ripped from my jaw!)

    Sorry for this long memoir, I just really don’t trust my oral surgeon to be thorough with me if I make an appointment, she’s a real jerk. And would probably charge me a hundred bucks for 2 minutes of her time!

    Thank you in advance!


    1. Hi Sharayah,

      The white chunk that came out was probably food like you said. If you are worried about dry socket, normal dry sockets occur with a significant amount of pain. They tend to happen more on lower molars than tooth # 12.

      If your tooth was removed on Wednesday evening, you are still in the period where you can get dry socket, so I recommend not to smoke (if you are a smoker) and continue rinsing with salted water in order to remove any chunks of food located in your socket.

      By the way, you have great writing skills!

      1. Hello Dr! Ive been reading your blogs for the last 2 days since ive had my upper right wisdom tooth extracted, and it has been sooo helpful!! I am a heavy smoker, and after reading your blogs, i am deathly afraid of getting dry socket. Your advice has helped me stay away from cigarettes for the last 2 days, so i am very appreciative and grateful!!! But on the dry socket front, i am still sooo scared of getting it. Its even caused me to eat less, cause im afraid that anything i do will cause it. Is it ok to eat solid foods after 24 hrs? or will that increase my chances of getting it? And besides smoking or drinking from a straw, is there anything else i should be avoiding? Thanks in advance!!!

        1. Jessica, thank you very much for your nice feedback πŸ™‚

          Other than what you are doing, I would recommend not to spit, because spitting (like smoking and drinking from a straw) makes a suction movement in the mouth that can dislodge the blood clot and cause dry socket. But I think you will be ok πŸ™‚

  40. Hello Dr. Youssef,

    I have some questions regarding smoking… but first I want you to know that smoking helps me cope with pain from MS, so I have a double whammy going on right now.

    It’s been 48 hours since the extraction of my top/right wisdom tooth and I can barely last any longer without a cigarette (of course, I say that with some reserve because I don’t want to experience dry socket).

    It was small wisdom tooth inline with my other molars (although it had 4 roots, and one broke during the extraction). Nevertheless, it appeared to come out fairly easy and I have very little pain now, or even after the freezing dropped off.

    I am a fifty year old, white male, and had my two left wisdom teeth removed when I was around 20 and remember smoking the same day (no one warned me otherwise back then), and I didn’t have any issues.

    Today though, the horror stories around dry socket are too scary to ignore, people talk about committing suicide, is it that bad?

    Anyway, if you have the time, my questions are;

    1. Most articles I have read say dry socket is more common in women than men, do you agree?

    2. Most articles I have read say dry socket is more common in lower teeth than upper teeth, have you found this to be true?

    3. Regarding the time line, you say Day 4 is when dry socket is first noticed, does that mean by Day 2 or Day 3 it already exists? Actually, the question really is… when do you know if you are out of the woods? I mean if Day 4 comes and goes, does this mean you are safe? I thought I read somewhere it doesn’t appear until seven days after surgery (but that seems a little far fetched)… when are we safe and can relax?

    4. My oral surgeon said nothing about refraining from smoking pre-surgery, how important is that (not that I can turn the clock back)?

    5. If the extraction site has been stitched up, how can the blood clot be dislodged from sucking on a cigarette (remember, it’s my upper/right wisdom tooth)?

    6. Honestly speaking, what percentage of people will get a dry socket? Is it rare?

    7. Given the amount of patients you have seen for dry socket, what percentage were smokers? Or better yet, what percentage smoked during the first 72 hours?

    This isn’t a really question, but if dry socket typically happens on the fourth day, why on earth would a tooth be extracted on a Wednesday leaving a potential victim in need on a Sunday when offices are closed… geez!

    Hope you have time to respond, I am slowly loosing it πŸ™‚


    1. Hi Ross, I hope you are coping well after your extraction. Here are the answers at the best of my knowledge:
      1. Not sure if dry socket occurs more in women than men.
      2. Yes dry sockets occur more in lower teeth that are in the back (molars).
      3. Most dentists recommend not to smoke for 48-72 hours, and yes dry socket usually occurs between 3 to 5 days after the tooth extraction.
      4. It is mostly important not to smoke before a surgery when you place a dental implant, less for tooth extraction.
      5. It can still happen, because it is not totally solid.
      6. The percentage is about 10% if I remember correctly. 25% for wisdom teeth.
      7. To be honest, most of people I’ve seen that had dry sockets were smokers. That is why I took the time to write this article.

      Hope that helps Ross.


      1. Thanks so much for your prompt reply… one last question please (if you don’t mind)… is there anyway I can tell by looking at the extraction site if it’s ok to smoke yet?

        It’s been 52 hours and I’m climbing the walls (with very little sleep to boot).

        Smoking keeps me and my MS calm… and believe it or not, nothing else works (not oral meds, not interferon injections, nothing).

  41. I had 7 teeth removed, didnt smoke for 3 days, now im feeling/seeing a white bubble in my gums, NEXT to the one that was extracted, is that caused from smoking? Will it go away if i continue to take my antibiotics and stop smoking? Or do i need to go see my dentist. Thank you.

    1. If the white bubble doesn’t hurt so much I would wait before seeing your dentist. I am sure it will slowly go. But if it doesn’t after two weeks, call your dentist.
      Please put in mind that complete healing of tooth extraction takes 3 months.

  42. Hi,I hope I’m not replying too late!
    I just got a molar extracted today and I am not going to smoke for 2 or 3 days,but the bottom of the hole where it was extracted it looks black/very dark red,is that just the blood clot forming?
    It can’t be dry socket because I haven’t smoked yet!
    When can I eat solid foods again?And if the food doesn’t come out fully what can I do?Will it cause infection?

    Sorry for all the questions,I would have asked my dentist but I didn’t know about this food thing.

    1. Corrina,

      You can get dry socket even if you don’t smoke. It’s just that smoking increases the risks.
      The dark and redish colour of your socket might be just the blood clot forming as you said. Good luck!

  43. okay so i got my upper left wisdom out tuesaday 3 days ago. when can i smoke with the gauze!!!!! and not get dry socket!!!!

  44. I had tooth extracted about this time yesterday morning my question is what should the tooth extraction site, blood clot whatever look like say at this time tomorrow? I’m about to go rinse with salt water now and it looks all reddish with a tint of grey? I’m smoker but using patches for now cause i’m too scared to smoke, what i really want to know is how to see signs the extraction site is improving and healing. Thanks great site.

    1. @ Gaz,

      It is normal for your extraction site to look like the way you described. In about a week, the swelling will be very reduced, and the gum will look much better. You might still feel the hole though for a few more weeks, and this is because the bone takes around 3 months to heal completely.

  45. I get my tooth pulled tomorrow. & I love to smoke. But I dont want to quit smoking for 4 days. Is it possible that if I put a piece of Gauz where I got my tooth pulled, and then smoke, will I still get a dry socket?

  46. I had my wisdom tooth extracted this morning, december 26th 2009 after christmas lolz. im a heavy smoker with one pack per day but i can’t imagine how you take removing teeth so easy on you. Well as far as i know, there’re great possibilities of dental problem would reflect on your health, and sometimes, those could be even fatal. Of course, after getting rid of the tooth i just want to smoke so bad, like my normal daily routine. but think about it twice, there’re nerves under your tooth, so you better don’t mess around with it. I just don’t want to lose my mouth coz i love smoking and i need my mouth to smoke, lolz, and to some other guy smoke with his nose, salute. so far i quitted smoking for 1 day, first time ever in my life, and yeah, i will wait for 3 days onward, hope you all smokers can reconsider before light up your cigarettes.

  47. I had a wisdom tooth pulled dec 4th and had terrible pain, turned out the it was tooth number 19 causing the trouble, My question simply is this I can plainly see the hole and the clot are getting smaller its been 48 hours since the removal and I have smoked easily and rarely since the extraction, If I havent gotten a dry socket by this point what are the odds that I will? And when you do get a dry socket from the way Ive been reading your saying the pain doesnt set in right away? how long does it take and how you do know ahead of time if you have one. Ive heard you will hear a pop and get a warm wet feeling is this true?
    Eager For Answers.
    Thank you in Advance

  48. the clot has come off my bottom gum from my tooth extraction but i still have a clot on my top gum. i only had it took out 30 hours ago is it supposed to be gone already?

  49. i just had 2 back teeth took out at 9.20 3rd december i have gone 30 hours without a fag. do you think that by the morning i could have one because i am really craving one. and by that time it would be 48 hours πŸ™‚ what are the risks if i do have one ?? cuz im really scared :S

  50. hi, i just had my surgery saturday and now it’s wednesday. i was wondering if i could at least start smoking again? i actually feel fine, normal. no more pain although little discomfort. i can chew solid foods, also i’m able to stretch my mouth without having any pain. so basically, i feel good. it’s just this discomfort feeling that i have and it feels like my stitches are getting loose. but i have to wait until saturday to have the stitches removed. though i’m desperate to have a cigarette now. what do you think?


  52. i am a pot smoker, have been for years, its been 4 hours since extraction and i am having no probs but i no i cant get through the night without a bong, sad ino, but do you think it will be ok to have a bong fore i go to bed? … just one!

    1. why doesnt anyone answer questions about smoking pot? i just had a tooth pulled and am feeling your really wanting a smoke before bed and i would really like to know too.

  53. I totally understand the trouble with quitting smoking cold turkey pre/post oral surgery. I am going crazy! My surgeon told me not to smoke 24 hours pre and 24 hours post. I had a tooth extracted (towards the back) and the plan is to have an implant put in as I do modeling and can’t risk any missing teeth. I had a tooth extracted in the far back 5 years ago, and I kept the gauze and tea bag covering it thinking this will suffice as far as protecting it from possible exposure to the smoke! I’m really considering taking this opportunity to quit but I seriously want just one sooo bad! My boyfriend has never been a smoker so of course he has no sympathy! Its good to know after reading all these posts that I’m not alone in this! -Jen

  54. okay, so now it has been 5 days since i got my tooth pulled, i wokeup this morning and looked in the mirror to see how it looked, now most of the white stuff i was talking about is gone and my gums are all lumby feeling… my ears are both hurting, and my throat hurts, and i do have some tenderness where i got the tooth pulled, should i go in to the dentist for a checkup?

  55. i got my tooth pulled 3 days ago, i just stared noticing a whitish grey color where i got the tooth pulled, i know many people have asked this question but i really am worried about it, it is normal?
    could it possibly be dry socket?
    and should i check up with my dentist just to be sure…?
    please help me =/ thanx

  56. i had a tooth pulled on thursday and it is now wednesday and i have notice that my gums are swollen and my bottom front gums are a grayish color. is this normal? i am a smoker and the dentist didn’t tell me not to smoke after i had it pulled and so i started smoking as soon as i got out of the office. but now my gums are hurting and bleeding when i brush my teeth. i am not to worried about the bleeding…its the grayish color that is starting to really scare me…come you please tell me what this could be?

    1. Brittany,
      The greyish colour is normal. It can either be the blood clot, or some food debris retained there. I would recommend to rinse with water and salt three times a day.

  57. Hi,
    I had 2 right wisdom teeth extractions. I know we’re supposed to hold off on smoking but I seriously couldn’t. I smoked a joint (marijuana) with a wet gauze like 2 hrs after my surgery then continued periodically with a wet tea bag. I knew after that I should expect dry socket/severe pain. After the 3rd day, my face is still slighty swollen but no pain. If I do get this “dry socket” can I continue to smoke? with or without the wet gauze/tea bags?

  58. So, I got three wisdom teeth pulled on the 24th of july, and the dentist said that they were all growing in in these weird ways… such as toward my molars and out of my gum toward my cheek… and he said it made me a high risk for infection.

    I am a smoker, but I waited a week before even smoking again, I was way too scared to get dry sockets or infections. BUT nowthat i have been smoking i’ve started to notice on the right side of my mouth where I had two teeth pulled, that my upper gum is extremely red and is still giving me a occassional problems ( sore and kind of hard to open mouth and chew food) where the stitches have come out.

    do you think this has anything to do with smoking, or is my mouth just still in the process of healing?

    thank you

    1. Kristyn,

      It is not common to get dry socket a week after extraction. But what you are describing sounds a bit like it. Maybe you can reduce the frequency of smoking and rinse with water and salt. If it becomes worse, call your dentist.

  59. You say that is it ok to start smoking again after 48-72 hours, but then I read that dry socket usually occurs around day 3-4. How is it ok to start smoking again after 72 hours, but yet dry socket occurs a day or two after that. Does the dry socket set in before day 3 or 4, just not felt till then?

    1. Bert, yes dry socket takes time to set, that is why it usually happens at the fourth day after extraction. It is recommended not to smoke for 72 hours, after that the risks are extremely low, but yet not impossible. It depends on how much you can hold out from smoking.

  60. I am looking on this site because I had a molar extracted yesterday but tonight is the second night and I was just lurched out of my sleep experiencing excruciating pain. From what I’ve been reading, I believe its a dry socket and have half a mind to go to the ER right now….. However, I am a smoker and have had 2 wisdom teeth removed and a couple other molars and have never experienced pain like this after the extractions. I guess the vicodan works when I take two at a time but I’m gonna run out by tomorrow at this rate. Not to mention the fact that one of my best friends weddings in which I’m in is 2 days fem now so I guess I’d better call the dentist first thing in the morning to get a handle on this!!!!

  61. Hello, I had my wisdom teeth removed Friday. I feel like I’m healing good. I am a smoker but haven’t smoked yet. I have noticed today that there is a black hole in the back of my mouth. My teeth were impacted and were tough to extract. As I said I just noticed the hole today I have been taking all my meds and I have been doing the rinse. What do you think the hole is do you think its a dry socket and if so it doesnt hurt so what do I do?

    1. Leana,

      It is normal to have a hole where your tooth was extracted. The gum takes one to two weeks to heal. But bone needs longer, up to three months to heal. That is why you see a hole where the tooth was.

  62. Hi, I got a recent tooth extraction ( 4 teeth from the middle ). I have a white piece stuck in the extraction site. I got my teeth extracted on july 3rd 2009. I was wondering if that white piece is chicken I ate or the healing process thing. What do I do if its chicken…leave it there or?

    1. Johnx

      I suggest that you rinse with water in salt. If it’s a piece of chicken it will be removed by itself. But be careful as the blood clot has also a greyish look and it should not be removed. Therefore when you rinse with water and salt, do not do it too hard.

  63. I regularly smoke a half a pack a day at least for the last 3-4 years. I waited 6 days until I started smoking again to be safe. Be smart people, wait at least 3-4 days, this isn’t something you want to mess around with. Getting teeth removed from your head is a big deal and is considered major surgery. Take this opportunity to give your lungs a break. If I can do it, you can do it. Be strong!

  64. i have cut down alot now so im nearly there.
    do i still need to cover the gap where the tooth was with a wet gauze to smoke or is it ok not to now?
    thanks you.

    1. @ Chrissywiss,

      After 72 hours, you don’t really need to take those precautions. Dry socket occurs around the 3rd or 4th day after extraction. After that it is usually safe. And by the way, I am glad that you are slowly cutting down and wanting to quit πŸ™‚

  65. thank you for your fast reply.
    do i need to cover with a wet gauze still or is it saf not to now?

    i have always had problems with mouth ulsers could this be due to the infection under the tooth? could you recomend a decent WORKING cream/gel to use as all the ones i use medijel, bonjela, orabase all dont seem to work?
    again thank you.

    1. @ Chrissywiss

      About the mouth ulcers, there are many products out there that can help. As I often have ulcers myself, the best product I found is called Magic Mouth (in Canada). But it can only be done under prescription. It has Benadryl, Tetracycline and Nystatin. Maybe your dentist can prescribe it to you.

      By the way, you are still young and I would highly recommend you to consider quitting smoking. I have only seen family tragedies including bad illnesses and deaths that occured because of long term tobacco consumption, and believe me, dying from lung cancer is one of the worse ways to die… so please, consider quitting, and just do it.

  66. hi had my 2nd in from the back tooth extracted i think its a molar dont know on monday morning at 9.20 im a heavy smoker for my age 17. i managed to go yesterday without one but ended up in tears as i was so stressed. my family who live at home are all smokers aswell and at college all my friends are smokers so i cant really get away with it. i again feel like im going to burst into tears over the slightest thing as i want a fag so much would it be ok to have one now as i dont know how much longer i can wait. i know its only a few hours till itll be 72 hours but i want to check before i do anything. also bits of the flesh are breaking away when i rinse my mouth out is this normal? i am doing it very gently as this is what my dentist said but he said nothing about smoking.

    1. @ Chrissywiss,

      I understand your problem. Some dentist recommend to wait 48 hours before smoking, others say 72 hours. If I understand correctly, you have passed 48 hours and you are almost reaching 72 hours. You are therefore at a point where it is considered safe to smoke.

      About the bits of flesh that are breaking apart, they might be sutures, or they might be food particles that were stuck in the hole where the tooth was, so I wouldn’t worry about it, just continue to rinse with water and salt.

  67. Hi. I had two wisdom teeth extracted Mon morning. Its been 36 hours and I seem to be okay. Swelling down No pain meds today. Is it safe to smoke in cigar leaves?

  68. so the blood cloth is that the red part in the place where the tooth was will that heal and dissapear all together and just leave a plain empty gum or will it remain there

    1. Matt,

      Yes, it’s red, or a little greyish. After a few weeks it will become more and more pink, just like the colour of your gums. Then there won’t be a hole anymore, it will just be gum.

  69. I had my 2nd upper molar removed 2days ago. The dentist didnt tell me not 2 smoke, so I did. Anyway, all was well till last night when I had soup 4 dinner. I think a piece of the clot disolved. Theres still some left covering most of the hole, but it is more sensitive 2day. I rinse with salt water every 3 hours just in case. Is it possible that dry socket may have started?

    1. Hi Willie,

      Dry socket usually occurs 3-4 days after tooth extraction. If the pain is increasing, call your dentist right away, as he or she can put something in the socket to reduce the pain.

  70. i had full upper and lower implants on monday at 11 am which went great i dont have much pain at all just alittle in my lower jaw and alittle in my nose i do have alot of swelling in my lips any ideas on how to get it down other then ice ive been iced up since monday night
    also im a smoker i have not a cig since 6:45 monday morning i really need one just half lol do you think im clear to have alittle

  71. Hello. I got my wizzies (2 on the lower jaw, neither impacted, though one came out in 3 pieces) removed on Tuesday March 10th. It is now Sunday. So far everything seems to be healing fine, and I have no pain, although I’m still not eating solid foods because I’m scared particles will get stuck in the sockets. Can I start smoking normally again? When am I considered to be out of the woods as far as dry socket goes?

    1. Arjun,

      After four days it is pretty safe to smoke (for your sockets, not your lungs). If you are afraid food particles will get stuck in the sockets, you can rinse with salted water after each meal.

  72. I have just had 2 teeth extracted.I am in my fifties and my tooth decay seems to be getting worse.I am a light smoker,occasional drinker,but tonight,after I had 2 teeth extracted,I would have had 3 extracted but for the fact that I told my dental health clinicean that if he took the third tooth out I would not be able to smile for lack of teeth and I would not be photogenic and I would be sufferring to the extreme!. He asked me if I was able to be sound of mind !I was about to have the third tooth extracted! I didn’t have the third tooth extracted.LOL Yes! I would have let him take the other offending tooth out but I said to him that I needed some time to just get through the first painful tooth extraction.The second and third teeth made me suffer so much that I cried and moaned throughout the whole ordeal!After that,I would need to get used to a black smile.Yes that’s what I call a black smile with a definitive lack of teeth and all you get is a black hole picturesquely!
    If you have the money you can go to a dentist and have thejob done.But if you don’t have the finances??!Ive seen pictures of my grandmother and other relatives with dark shadows,missing teeth in their photo albums.I was not going to let that restrict me.But,Alas It happens!!LOL
    The last resort is to have dental implants

    1. Hi Littlewoman,

      Yes you are right, having a tooth extraction is not a pleasant experience. You feel the pressure, you hear sounds, and you know after there will be a gap in your smile (or shadow like you described). I hope that you will be able to put dental implants to make your smile look nicer. If implants are too expensive for you, you can talk to your dentist about partial dentures, maybe that can work for you as well, depending of where your missing teeth are. Good luck!

      1. hi, i had my top right wisdom tooth pulled out on monday around 3:30pm…today is thursday around 1:30pm. no stitches, tooth took about 5 min to get out….still achey but bearable. Is it safe to smoke a cig???

  73. I smoked 4-5 days after..took a few pulls stopped/later on took a few more pulls..now Im pissed.I have a irritating feeling away from where my wisdom tooth was extracted and its driving me crazy..no pain..but then again im just noticing the dry spot


    Ive had 2 teeth extracted.

    1st time – Dentist didnt tell me – and i smoked like billio without a problem!

    2nd time new dentist told me – i did smoke 6 hrs later. I smoke roll-ups (less toxins in them) from opposite side of mouth – and cut down. No Problems at all – socket healed. So i dont quite get it??

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