If you’re a smoker, it can be difficult to quit or even just take a break from this habit. Unfortunately, if you need to get a root canal procedure, you may have to quit smoking, even if temporarily.
We often get asked, "Can I smoke after a root canal?" but smoking can impact your root canal and delay healing. After you get the procedure, your dentist will provide you with a few aftercare tips that aim to help you heal properly and protect your tooth. And for smokers, this list of tips will include stopping smoking for a few days.
What Is a Root Canal?
A root canal is a dental procedure often used to treat large tooth infections. The dentist essentially removes all the infected tissue from inside the tooth.
Once the tissue is removed, the dentist then applies a dental filling designed to fill the hole and restore the tooth’s full function. In some cases, if your Long Beach dentist needs to remove a lot of tissue, patients may need to get a dental crown to restore the tooth. After the procedure, healing begins, and smoking cna interfere with that process.
Why Does Smoking Impact Healing After a Root Canal Procedure?
Smoking can constrict blood vessels and reduce the level of oxygen found in the blood. Essentially, by smoking after a root canal, you can delay healing simply because the blood supply needed to heal the procedure site has less oxygen than that of a non-smoker.
Not only that, but smoking can also increase inflammation in your body. Inflammation is a natural process that supports healing in most cases, but unwanted inflammation caused by smoking can have the opposite effect. Moreover, inflammation increases the risk of infection, which can be a serious complication following a root canal procedure.
How Long Do You Have to Stop Smoking After a Root Canal?
Healing after a root canal can vary from patient to patient. As a general rule, dentists recommend refraining from smoking throughout the entire process.
After a root canal, it can take anywhere between 2 days and 2 weeks to completely heal, depending on the size of the infection that was treated, any pre-existing medical conditions you may have (such as diabetes), and other lifestyle factors.
We understand it can be difficult to quit smoking even for a day, but it’s incredibly important you do it. The root canal procedure is a rather serious intervention designed to preserve the natural tooth. Interfering with the healing process of a root canal may put your natural tooth at risk.
Here are some tips that may help you refrain from smoking after a root canal:
- Eat healthy food
- Take up a new hobby
- Keep your mind busy
Root Canals at Dodds Dental in Long Beach
If you suspect you may need a root canal, Dr. Emily Dodds and Dr. Dustin Dodds are happy to help. To get started, book an appointment at Dodds Dental online. Have more questions? Call our Long Beach team today at (562) 439-0754!