Your mouth can feel numb and tender after a root canal procedure. If you’re a smoker, you may wonder whether smoking is safe after the procedure. A root canal is performed when the pulp (the soft center of your tooth) becomes infected or damaged. Once damaged, it can become vulnerable to infection or inflammation and needs to be removed with a root canal procedure. During the procedure, each of your tooth’s canals is cleaned and filled with gutta-percha material, followed by a temporary filling. Then, you will need to come back to your dentist to get a permanent one. This procedure requires you to follow aftercare instructions given by your dentist. You will need to avoid certain foods and habits that you’d do otherwise to heal quicker and without complications. So, can you smoke after a root canal? Let’s find out!
Can I Smoke After a Root Canal?
Smoking is not recommended after a root canal. Smoking increases the risk of developing oral health conditions, especially when you’re recovering from an oral procedure. In fact, smokers are more likely to require root canals than non-smokers since they’re more vulnerable to oral infection. So, you should avoid smoking to achieve better oral health and reduce your likelihood of needing root canals.
Why you shouldn’t smoke after a root canal
There are several reasons you should not smoke following a root canal procedure.
- Smoking may delay your healing.
- Smoking may increase the likelihood of needing a root canal.
- No tobacco product is approved or endorsed by the American Dental Association because smoking is considered unhealthy for your oral and overall health.
Smoking and Healing After a Root Canal
Smoking negatively affects the healing process after a root canal. Moreover, your mouth is vulnerable in the days following the procedure. It’s advisable to follow aftercare directed by your dentist. Your mouth will still be numb for the first few hours after the procedure. So you should not consume hot liquids and foods until the local anesthesia fully wears off.
You should also avoid smoking during this time and while you recover. Otherwise, it can delay your healing, and toxic chemicals may cause cancer in your mouth. Smoking also reduces blood flow, which means an adequate supply of oxygen cannot reach the gums. This may cause other health problems besides delaying the healing process.
Root Canal Recovery Tips
After getting a root canal, you should expect your mouth to stay numb for a few hours. You need to consume only cold or room temperature water during this period until the local anesthesia completely wears off and you no longer feel numb. This way, you can avoid burning yourself with hot foods or biting your mouth accidentally.
Once your mouth no longer feels numb, you can eat soft foods, such as ice cream, yogurt, mashed potatoes, and oatmeal for the first few days. You may feel some pain, swelling, or discomfort in the following days. But you can easily manage this with anti-pain medications and cold compress to reduce swelling.
How long after a root canal can you smoke?
You will likely be able to return to your normal routine within 3 days. Until then, you should not use straws or smoke. But if you have been thinking about quitting smoking, now might be the time to do so.
Save Your Teeth
Is your tooth infected or inflamed? Contact our dental clinic for root canals in Friendswood, TX. Our dentist and oral hygienist will give instructions about when you can engage in activities related to your mouth. Call now at (832) 895 1905 for more details or book an appointment.