Dry Socket and Smoking

I had all my wisdom teeth taken out a few days ago. There have been no complications. When is it safe for me to smoke again without getting dry socket? I’m about to go out of my skull from withdrawal.

Ben R.- Texas

Ben,

Unlike common thought, smoking does not lead to dry socket, so you can start smoking any time you want.  We used to think that any kind of sucking is what removed the blood clot and lead to dry socket. Now we know that the empty socket is the symptom not the cause.

Dry socket occurs much more often when there is trauma to the surgical site during the procedure, however gentle technique and placing a dressing of clindamycin in the socket after the procedure can almost completely remove  the chances of dry socket.

You may also be interested in sleep dentistry.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette Dentist Dr. John Theriot.

Toothache with swollen cheek

I’ve had a sore tooth for the last few weeks. Now my cheek is swollen. Is this because of my tooth?

Belinda G.- Little Rock, AR

Belinda,

It’s possible that you have a tooth abscess. An abscess can spread from the pulp of your tooth to the jawbone, even to the muscles and skin. That could explain your cheek.  It is important you visit your dentist as soon as possible for treatment.  It’s possible you had a cavity that spread to the pulp of your tooth. If that is the case you’ll need a root canal treatment and a dental crown.

If the tooth has a crack, you’ll need an extraction. Fortunately, you can replace your tooth with a dental implant or other type of prosthetic.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette Dentist Dr. John Theriot.