However, smoking after wisdom teeth removal is definitely not a good idea — it can cause complications leading to infection and extended recovery time.

How Smoking Leads to Complications

In addition to the act of smoking which can interrupt the healing process, any use of tobacco products after oral surgery can delay healing and increase the risk of complications. This is because chemicals in cigarettes or other forms of tobacco may prevent or slow healing and contaminate the wound site. The Mayo Clinic suggests that if you smoke or use tobacco, don't do so for at least 48 hours after surgery, and as long as you can after that.

Quitting Smoking

While you naturally want to avoid increased complications after you've had your wisdom teeth pulled, if you're a smoker, abstaining from smoking may be challenging. You may intend to stop smoking post-surgery, but the addictive nature of smoking can make it especially difficult.

If you know you're going to be getting your wisdom teeth removed, it's a great motivation to quit the habit! There are numerous resources available to help you manage cravings and successfully quit tobacco. This is necessary to ensure a healthy recovery from your wisdom tooth extraction, but is also the healthiest choice for your whole body.

To help your extraction heal more quickly, limit heavy activity and avoid alcohol, hot beverages, hard foods, and, of course, smoking. Don't clean the area for the first 24 hours and make sure you're using a soft-bristled toothbrush. If you suspect something's not quite right post-surgery, don't hesitate to contact your dentist. With the right care — and no smoking! — your recovery should go smoothly and you'll be back to smiling in no time.


Oral Care Center articles are reviewed by an oral health medical professional. This information is for educational purposes only. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist, physician or other qualified healthcare provider.