Can You Smoke Weed After Getting Wisdom Teeth Pulled?
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What You Need To Know About Weed Smoking and Oral Surgery
So you’re getting those pesky wisdom teeth out. Maybe they’re impacted or maybe they’re only partially erupted and causing you problems. All I can say is better you than me!
However, whether you only occasionally smoke weed or you’re a regular user, your experience will go a whole lot smoother if you give it up for at least a while after your surgery.
Trust me on this one.
What’s The Problem With Smoking Weed After Tooth Extraction?
There are a number of reasons why you should avoid smoking weed after tooth extraction.
For starters, because marijuana constricts blood vessels, if you have it in your system it will take longer for blood to flow to your gums. This slows the healing process.
Additionally, smoking marijuana also restricts the production of saliva. It’s the reason why you get that awful cottonmouth. And that dearth of saliva not only opens the door to bacterial infection, it too slows recovery.
No big deal to you? Well, we saved the worst reason for last. The worst result from smoking after a tooth extraction is if you develop a dry socket.
What Is Dry Socket?
Alveolar osteitis is a condition that is hard to both say and spell, which is probably why dentists and everyone else for that matter call it “dry socket.”
So what is it?
Whenever you have a tooth extracted, you’re left with a hole in the bone where the tooth once lived. Normally, a blood clot will develop in this hole to protect the bone and nerves below from becoming infected.
However, sometimes, either the blood clot does not form or it gets pulled out leaving them both exposed. When this happens, an infection can quickly develop and last for five or six days.
This condition is called dry socket and needless to say, it is extremely painful.
Why Does Smoking Cause Dry Socket?
Your body is an amazing thing. Cut your hand, your knee, or your elbow and it immediately gets to work forming a clot that helps stem the flow of blood.
Likewise, the blood clotting process immediately gets started inside the empty socket in your mouth where a tooth has been extracted. This, however, is a delicate process and you have to allow time for the wound to heal.
Unfortunately, the sucking action required to smoke weed can cause the fragile blood clot to become dislodged creating a dry socket. And by the way, the same thing can happen smoking ordinary cigarettes or even sucking from a straw.
How Long Should You Wait To Smoke Weed After Tooth Extraction Or Any Type Of Oral Surgery?
As much as you might like to reach for a joint to ease oral pain after surgery, most dentists recommend waiting at least 48 to 72 hours after oral surgery and preferably as much as five days.
The longer you wait, the less chance you’ll have of developing a dry socket.
If you absolutely must smoke, try to take lighter tokes to reduce the sucking action inside your mouth.
Be sure also to rinse your mouth out afterward with warm salt water as well as after eating or drinking. Understand, this won’t prevent a dry socket, but it will provide an added layer of protection.
If you do develop a dry socket, you may experience symptoms such as ear pain, swollen lymph nodes, bad breath, and a bad taste in your mouth. The most obvious, of course, will be pain where your tooth was extracted.
If you experience any of these symptoms, get in touch with your dentist right away.
Is Smoking Weed After Getting Wisdom Teeth Out Not Recommended?
Dentists recommend that you not smoke weed immediately after having your wisdom teeth or any others extracted. You need to give the hole or holes in your mouth time to form and hold onto their blood clots.
But buck up! It’s not like you can’t smoke weed ever again.
Ideally, you should wait 72 hours, and preferably five days. Don’t ignore the advice. If you rush the process and start smoking soon after your oral surgery, you risk developing a dry socket.
If that happens, you’ll be kicking yourself that you didn’t take the advice seriously.
Are Edibles An Acceptable Alternative?
Sticking to edibles will help you avoid a dry socket, but they are still not a good alternative. It goes right back to that cottonmouth effect you get from marijuana.
It’s caused by THC and that’s present in weed whether you smoke it or eat it. A lack of saliva in your mouth causes the whole healing process to slow down.
What About Vaping After Wisdom Teeth Removal?
Vaping is not a good choice either. Just as with smoking, vaping employs a sucking motion that can dislodge a blood clot.
Again, just buck up! The more closely you follow your dentist’s instructions, the faster you’ll heal and be able to resume your normal consumption.
Should I stop smoking weed before I have oral surgery?
You should. And, for once, it has nothing to do with dry socket.
If you’re going to have oral surgery of any kind, it’s best to refrain from smoking weed for at least two weeks before your procedure.
A 2019 Colorado study published in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association found that regular users of marijuana require a greater level of sedation for surgery. But how much each individual may need isn’t entirely clear.
Doctors and dentists don’t want to over-sedate patients, but giving them too little may result in a patient waking up during surgery.
Experts hypothesize that THC in the system is the root cause so allowing time for most of it to be eliminated from your system is the wisest choice.
The impact of THC on anesthesia is also a good argument for being completely open and honest with your oral surgeon about your marijuana consumption.
When can I smoke weed after wisdom teeth removal?
It’s best to wait at least three days (72 hours) after your wisdom teeth, or any other teeth for that matter, are extracted. This should give your body the necessary time to develop a blood clot in the holes your extracted teeth once occupied.
Refraining from smoking for this period of time will not only help prevent the occurrence of dry sockets but it will also allow for increased blood flow to the gums and the production of saliva both of which will promote faster healing.
Can you get dry socket smoking weed after oral surgery?
Yes, you can. And it isn’t at all pleasant. The same goes for smoking any other product. The act of sucking can dislodge a newly forming blood clot and open the socket up to air, food, and bacteria. And this can lead to infection.
Is it safe to start up vaping after wisdom teeth removal?
Vaping is not a safe alternative. Like smoking weed or cigarettes, the sucking action required in vaping can dislodge blood clots that are beginning to form. Vaping can just as easily cause dry socket as smoking weed can.
Having oral surgery of any kind is never fun, but you can make the experience a whole lot worse by grabbing for a joint right after your procedure.
If, however, you refrain from smoking for at least two weeks before your surgery and another five days afterward, it will not only help you heal faster but also protect you from developing a painful dry socket.
Follow that advice, and when you finally get to enjoy a good smoke, it will surely be a whole lot sweeter.