When you think about it, smoking weed after wisdom teeth removal is a pretty logical thing to do. You’re in pain, you want to ease that pain, and marijuana is known for its analgesic properties. But is it healthy to smoke weed after wisdom teeth removal?
You shouldn’t smoke weed after wisdom teeth removal because it’ll delay your healing by causing dry sockets, which are very painful and may make you bleed more. Marijuana also constricts blood vessels and can make your blood pressure drop, which isn’t ideal when trying to heal a wound.
In this article, I’ll discuss why you should avoid smoking weed after a wisdom teeth removal surgery. Keep reading.
The Risks of Smoking Weed After Wisdom Teeth Removal
According to Healthline, healing after tooth extraction takes approximately six weeks. However, your health and lifestyle impact how long it takes to heal—one of the things that can delay your healing is smoking weed.
If you smoke weed regularly, you should avoid doing so after extracting your wisdom teeth to avoid risks such as dry sockets, delayed healing, cottonmouth, bleeding, and increased pain and swelling.
You May Experience Dry Sockets
After the extraction of a wisdom tooth, a blood clot forms at the site and sticks until recovery. However, this isn’t the case when you experience dry sockets (Alveolar osteitis).
According to Mayo Clinic, a dry socket is a painful dental condition that can occur when the blood clot that should’ve formed in the tooth socket after a wisdom tooth extraction is missing or has dissolved—such exposes the bone and nerves, resulting in pain.
Smoking weed constricts your blood vessels and decreases blood flow to the surgical area. It prevents a blood clot from forming, which leads to a dry socket.
Unfortunately, if the clot has already formed, it may get dislodged by the sucking action of weed smoking. The dislodging exposes you to a dry socket.
Dry sockets are extremely painful and can make it difficult to eat or drink. You may also experience bad breath and a foul taste in your mouth.
If you develop dry sockets, you’ll need to see your dentist. Your dentist will clean the socket and put medicine in it to help you heal.
It’ll Take Longer for Your Wound To Heal
Smoking weed after surgery can delay your healing process.
Marijuana constricts blood vessels and decreases blood flow to the area where you had surgery, which can prevent new tissue from forming and delaying your healing.
In addition, smoke from the weed can irritate your extraction site and delay healing. Here’s more information on how long after your wisdom teeth extraction you can smoke cigarettes.
You’ll Experience Cottonmouth
The International Journal of Oral and Dental Health states that smoking cannabis restricts saliva production, leading to an unpleasant condition called cottonmouth.
Cottonmouth is a condition where your mouth feels parched, and you have trouble producing saliva. Such a condition can make eating or drinking difficult.
It’s worth noting that saliva is an anti-bacteria in the mouth. Therefore, having insufficient saliva exposes you to oral bacterial infections like White Tongue, especially after tooth extraction.
If you experience cottonmouth, drink plenty of water and chew sugar-free gum to help stimulate saliva production. You can also try using over-the-counter saliva substitutes.
Your Wound Will Start Bleeding Again
After a wisdom tooth extraction, it’s normal to have some bleeding. The bleeding usually lasts for 24 hours after the surgery.
Smoking weed can restart the bleeding by irritating the extraction site due to heat. Heat causes blood vessels to expand, which can cause more bleeding. Remember, excessive bleeding can expose you to anemia, and you don’t want that.
You May Experience an Increase in Pain and Swelling
Smoking weed after wisdom teeth removal can increase your pain and swelling because THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) in weed slows your body’s ability to heal.
CBD (cannabidiol), on the other hand, has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce pain and swelling. However, most weed strains contain the same amounts of THC and CBD. Therefore, CBD’s anti-inflammatory impact may be ineffective.
Can I Use Edible Weed as an Alternative?
You shouldn’t use edible weed as an alternative after wisdom teeth removal. Although you may prevent the sucking action, edible weed exposes you to cottonmouth and dry sockets by causing blood constriction.
Cottonmouth is a result of THC, which is present in all forms of weed. It doesn’t matter whether you smoke or eat weed; you’ll experience cottonmouth.
Is It Healthy To Vape After Wisdom Teeth Removal?
It’s not healthy to vape after wisdom teeth removal as it exposes you to dry sockets, cottonmouth, and delayed healing. Like smoking, vaping employs the sucking action, which can dislodge blood clots and cause dry sockets.
In addition, the National Library of Medicine discusses that vaping is more dangerous because it increases your risk of developing pneumonia. That’s because vaping damages your lungs and makes them more susceptible to infection.
How To Speed Up Recovery After Wisdom Teeth Extraction
Tooth extraction surgeries are always simple and safe. However, like any surgery, there’s a risk of developing complications.
Following your dentist’s post-operative instructions is the best way to speed up your recovery and reduce your risk of complications. The following are some ways to speed up your recovery:
Embrace Cold Therapy
Swelling is one of the impacts of tooth extraction. Excessive swelling can hinder your healing processes by delaying new tissue production.
To reduce swelling, intermittently use a cold compress on the affected side for 15 minutes. Do this every few hours for the first two days after surgery.
Apart from decreasing blood flow to reduce the swelling, a 2019 review revealed that a cold compress numbs the nerves around the extraction site. It reduces your pain and discomfort.
Use Pain Medication
Your dentist will most likely prescribe pain medication to help manage your post-operative pain. Take your pain medication as prescribed.
In addition, you can use over-the-counter pain medications like ibuprofen.
Adopt a Soft Diet
Food is crucial after surgery as it provides your body with the necessary nutrients like vitamins and protein that help with wound healing. However, you should avoid hard, chewy, and crunchy foods that can irritate the wound.
Some examples of soft foods you can eat after wisdom teeth removal are:
- Mashed potatoes
- Scrambled eggs
- Macaroni and cheese
Get Plenty of Rest
Your body needs time to heal after any surgery. Get plenty of rest and sleep at least eight hours daily. By getting enough rest, your body will recover from anesthesia. Research has shown that sleeping at 10 p.m. is recommended.
Avoid Smoking and Drinking Alcohol
Smoking and drinking alcohol can delay your healing process by causing dry sockets, increased pain, and swelling. If you have an implant, smoking and drinking alcohol can also lead to implant failure. A failed implant can lead to severe complications like cancer.
Practice Good Oral Hygiene
Good oral hygiene is essential for preventing infection and promoting healing. However, you shouldn’t brush or floss your teeth for at least two days after the surgery to avoid disturbing the blood clot.
After two days, you can practice gentle brushing and rinse your mouth with salt water. Avoid using a straw for at least a week as it can also disturb the blood clot.
Consider doing the following to maintain safe oral hygiene:
- Rinse with salty water. Dissolve one teaspoon of salt in a cup of lukewarm water and use the solution to rinse your mouth after eating and before going to bed.
- Brush with a soft-bristled toothbrush. After 48 hours, you can start brushing your teeth twice a day using a soft-bristled toothbrush. Avoid brushing near the extraction site to prevent disturbing the clot.
Smoking weed after wisdom teeth extraction is risky and will delay your healing process. The act exposes you to dry sockets and cottonmouth, leading to increased pain and swelling. If you must smoke, wait at least 72 hours after the surgery to give the socket time to heal.