Periodontist Advice on Smoking after Gum Surgery

Periodontist Advice on Smoking after Gum Surgery

Mar 02, 2022

If you have gum disease, your doctor or dentist can recommend a few treatments options. Early stages of gum disease can be treated with standard treatments such as proper dental care and hygiene, deep cleaning, and root planing and scaling. However, if the condition has progressed to severe stages such as periodontitis, your dentist will likely recommend gum surgery.

After gum surgery, proper oral health care and habits must be taken into account to aid in recovery. Depending on your health and the type of surgery you’ve had, healing can take anywhere from a couple of days to a few weeks. After the surgery, your periodontist or dentist will likely give you some post-operative instructions that you must adhere to strictly to ensure faster and proper healing.

As a general rule, your surgeon will advise you to stop smoking before and after gum surgery. They will also mention other key risk factors such as poor hygiene, uncontrolled diabetes, and alcohol abuse. Read on to find out how smoking can affect your recovery after gum surgery.

How Tobacco Affects Healing

In general, tobacco use is harmful to your oral and overall wellness. Research suggests that cigarette smoke contains over 7,000 chemicals, with at least 250 that are known to be harmful. Aside from inhibiting healing after surgery, patients who smoke, chew, and use other forms of tobacco have a much higher risk of developing gum disease and other oral infections, including oral cancer. If your dentist has scheduled you for gum surgery, it’s essential for you to stop or limit smoking.

So, how does smoking affect surgery? Generally, smoking slows down the body’s ability to heal naturally. This can make you vulnerable to oral infections and other complications such as excess bleeding. When you inhale smoke from a cigarette, carbon monoxide is produced in the blood, reducing blood flow. This can reduce the amount of oxygen and nutrients delivered to the wound, inhibiting normal healing.

Nicotine also lessens the production of immunoglobulin, an important antibody found in the blood that aids in fighting infections. Additionally, nicotine reduces saliva production in the mouth, leading to a dry mouth. Adequate saliva is necessary to wash away bacteria and contaminants in the mouth. This means that a dry mouth can increase your risk of bacteria buildup and infections.

How Long Should you Wait to Smoke Again?

If you’re wondering how soon you can resume smoking after gum surgery, the truth is that smoking is never recommended and if possible, you should kick the habit altogether. If you must smoke, refrain from the activity for at least three days after the surgery. Smoking after surgery can disrupt the healing process and cause complications such as dry mouth, inflammation of the gums, swelling, and pain. Contact your periodontist or dentist immediately if you notice any abnormal side effects after surgery.

How to Promote Healing After Gum Surgery

One way to promote healing after gum surgery is to avoid tobacco products. If you find it difficult to stop the behavior, you can contact your dentist for professional advice and support. Finding a new habit can help you reduce the urge to smoke. Like tobacco, alcohol consumption also delays healing after gum disease.

After surgery, good oral hygiene and habits are recommended. Brush and floss, while avoiding the surgical site, until it heals, is crucial. You can rinse the area with salt water to prevent infection. Also, avoid abrasive dental products as they can irritate the area or cause dry mouth.

Additionally, you should stick to soft foods until the wound heals completely. Hard, sticky, and crunchy foods can disturb the area, causing significant discomfort and delaying the healing. Also, avoid too hot or cold items as they can cause sensitivity around the wound.

Final Verdict

After gum surgery, the surgical wound needs to heal naturally by rebuilding new tissue. Smoking can inhibit or delay the process of rebuilding new tissues needed for healing. Therefore, you should avoid smoking and strictly follow your dentist’s aftercare instructions to ensure quick and easy healing and recovery. If symptoms persist or worsen, get in touch with a periodontist near you right away. For more information about gum surgery in Seattle, contact Greenlake Dental at (206) 547-5647p.

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