Many people are aware of the adverse effects of tobacco use on respiratory and circulatory health. Tobacco users are also at a significantly higher risk of certain types of cancer, including oral and pharyngeal cancer. If you have a pending oral surgical treatment, such as a tooth extraction, wisdom tooth extraction, or dental implant placement, tobacco use can also complicate postoperative recovery.

The tar, chemicals, and potential heat that tobacco introduces into your mouth can significantly irritate healing gum tissues. At first, this can slow the recovery process, increasing the amount of time it takes for your gums to fully heal.

In some cases, tobacco use can even cause a dangerous infection in the gums, calling for additional treatment methods. This could even include taking a course of prescription antibiotics.

With all of this in mind, Dr. Hueler, Dr. Lyu, and Dr. Voegele advocate tobacco cessation before and after any oral surgery.

Instead of seeing it as an inconvenience, we encourage you to see it as an opportunity to succeed in total long-term tobacco cessation.

You should speak to your primary care physician to see what method they recommend. If possible, try to choose a tobacco cessation program that doesn’t include the use of nicotine gum or lozenges. These too can also irritate healing gums.

If you are planning an oral surgery and you have postoperative care questions, you can always call 952-226-7940 to speak to a member of the team at Midwest Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery. Your oral surgeon in Savage, Shakopee, and Eden Prairie, Minnesota, would also be happy to help you.

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