You've been in the dentist's chair for quite some time for root canal therapy. If you're a smoker, then you may be looking forward to the end of the appointment so you can light up a cigarette and relax your nerves.
But should you do it?
The short answer is no, it's not safe to smoke after a root canal. And here's why.
If the inside of your tooth has been damaged by decay, then your dentist may have to perform a root canal to remove the infected pulp and save it.
While a root canal is quite invasive, you won't feel much pain during it. The dentist will numb the area so that they can work on it without you being in any pain or distress.
After the anesthetic takes effect, the dentist will drill a hole through your tooth to reach the infected part. Then, they will remove the affected pulp, clean the canal, fill your tooth with a gutta-percha material, and then seal it with a filling.
Your mouth will feel numb for a couple of hours following the procedure, and your doctor will advise you to avoid eating during this period, so you don't accidentally bite your cheeks or tongue.
But how about smoking?
First of all, smoking may have been one of the reasons you needed a root canal in the first place. One study found that smokers are nearly twice more likely to need root canal therapy than non-smokers.
But that's not all.
Smoking can also slow down the recovery period and affect your body's ability to heal. That's because smoking reduces blood flow, which makes it harder for all the nutrients and oxygen needed for healing to reach the gum near the infected tooth.
Ideally, you can use this period to try and give up smoking. If you're not able to do it right now, then it's recommended to wait for about a week until you can light up a cigarette. This should give the root canal enough time to heal properly.
If you are an avid smoker, then these tips could help keep your mind off cigarettes:
Are you in a lot of pain and looking for a team of compassionate and professional dentists?
Dr. Packard and the team at Precision Dental in Bowling Green are ready to help you.
Get in touch with us, tell us about your problem, and we will book your appointment right away.