A visit to the dentist is never fun.
But it definitely sucks doubly if you’re a vaper or a smoker. That’s because the first thing your dentist will tell you — while you’re sitting there experiencing an increasing level of pain every second — is that you need to give your vape pen [or a regular cigarette] a rest.
Especially if you’ve just had a wisdom tooth extracted.
It sucks… but there’s a reason for it.
Dental health is an extremely complicated topic that I won’t go into right now [because there’s no way I can cover everything from tooth decay and teeth extractions to gum health and general mouth health, all the way to dental surgeries].
But it stands to reason that vaping — that is, inhaling large amounts of vapor or smoke — right after a procedure can impede your recovery process.
That said… there’s no need to despair.
You don’t have to quit vaping for good after tooth extraction.
You just have to be smart about it.
So in addition to general dentist advice about keeping your extraction wound clean — don’t get food into it, don’t get dirt into it, don’t touch the wound with your hands — just throw in: “don’t vape like you’ve just not had major oral surgery” and you should be fine and be able to put this painful experience behind you.
If you’ve had your wisdom tooth removed, here’s some advice that you should adhere to:
1.Do your best not to vape for 72 hours after the procedure [the longer, the better]
2.Ask your dentist to stitch up your wound [ helpful with wisdom tooth extraction]
3.Cover the extraction site with a small sheet of gauze [wet it before applying]
4.Inhale with minimum force and off on the side from your wound
5.Inhale vapor through your nose [Reddit-approved… but probably uncomfortable]
Let’s dig into how to put your oral health first if you’re a hardcore vaper.
Why You Shouldn’t Vape After a Tooth Extraction
Regular tooth extraction — meaning your front teeth and not your molars or wisdom teeth — still leaves a gaping, sore wound in your mouth.
When you vape — or smoke — while that wound is still open and bleeding, you increase the risk of complication, slow down the healing process, and push back your recovery date.
Well, while vaping on nic e-juices is undoubtedly way better than smoking cigarettes, it still introduces chemicals and nicotine into your system. Some of these chemicals can slow down the healing process. Nicotine, in particular, causes the blow flow to slow down, meaning that the extraction site isn’t getting the oxygen it needs to recover properly.
So if you can, try to completely refrain from using electronic cigarettes in the first 72 hours after an uncomplicated extraction procedure. It will help you avoid inflammation and infection and cut your recovery down to days instead of weeks.
[Additionally, vaping is not your only concern here. You should also refrain from touching the extraction wound with your hands and make sure it’s not in contact with any food, so up your oral hygiene. You don’t want to expose it to bacteria and dirt that can cause further complications].
After a couple of days have passed, the extraction site should be closed. It’s now safe to vape, but still, make sure to avoid extreme suction as it might cause enough negative pressure to reopen the wound.
Now that we’ve covered your good, old regular teeth, let’s move on to a riskier proposition — vaping and wisdom teeth removal.
Vaping After Wisdom Tooth Extraction is Definitely Not Recommended
Wisdom tooth extraction is a *****… a very painful process for most people.
Because wisdom teeth — the last molars in your head — have huge roots that are embedded into your jaw. Once they’re pulled out, the gaping hole that’s left behind takes days, sometimes even weeks, to completely heal. The whole area is sore and painful for days, thanks to numerous sensitive nerve endings and blood vessels with high blood flow that surround the extraction site.
What makes vaping after a wisdom tooth extraction particularly dangerous is that even the slightest sucking motion can result in you developing a dry socket — a painful condition that sets back your recovery.
What is a Dry Socket?
A wisdom tooth dry socket [alveolar osteitis] is a painful condition that occurs when a blood clot that forms inside a tooth extraction site dislodges. When that happens, the sensitive nerve endings and bone tissue are exposed, and there’s an increased risk of bacterial infection accompanied by intense pain.
If you’ve just had your wisdom tooth removed, here are the signs of dry socket you need to watch for:
·intense pain when chewing and/or sucking a straw or a cigarette/vape
·severe pain that radiates from your jaw all the way up to your eye and ear
·you can’t fee a blood clot formed at the place of the extraction with your tongue
·intensified bleeding from the wound [even if several days have passed]
·you can see something white [this is the bone] poking out from out of the wound]
Since this blood clot that protects the wound is pretty fragile, you can see why using an electric cigarette — or even a straw — puts you at a higher risk of developing a dry socket and causing further damage while the wound is healing.
But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.
Here’s how you can do it without putting yourself at risk of developing a dry socket.
How to Safely Vape After a Wisdom Tooth Removal
So okay — your goal is to sneak in a few puffs of your e-cigarette before the dentist prescribed wait period has expired, right?
Here’s a “vape after wisdom tooth removal” process you should follow to reduce your risk to a bare minimum:
·Wait AT LEAST 24 hours before vaping — before that, the blood clot is tiny, and even the slightest sucking action can dislodge it, preventing the wound healing fast enough.
·Vape with gauze over the wound — wet a piece of gauze and put it over the tooth extraction site, covering the soft tissue and the hole as best as you can.
·Take small, shallow inhales with your mouth partially open — you want to leave an area beside the drip tip open to avoid creating too much suction and negative pressure.
While not safe, this is a safer alternative and technique to vaping than the option of just going at it willy-nilly. As I said, if you can definitely hold off for a longer period of time — the more you wait, the better your chances of not creating a dry socket with your vaping.
A Bit of Patience Goes a Long Way
First thing first — yes, it’s possible to vape and not develop a dry socket.
But… vaping is a risk factor. And it definitely can increase your recovery time after tooth extraction or oral surgery.
So why not be a good little patient and just avoid it for a day or two?
If you feel like it’s going to be difficult to follow your oral surgeon’s advice here, a good idea would be to load up on nicotine patches. That way, you still get your nicotine fix, but you’re not risking an inflammation, an abscess, or worse. And while there are no dangers with vaping as with cigarette smoking, you still want to avoid it when there’s an open wound in your mouth.