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HomeHealthSmoking Cigarette After a Root Canal Can Lead to its Failure

Smoking Cigarette After a Root Canal Can Lead to its Failure

Performing endodontic therapy or root canal becomes necessary when the dental pulp gets infected by bacteria. The procedure involves removing infected tissues, blood vessels, and nerves present in the innermost area of the tooth. The void space is filled with a biocompatible material and sealed with cement or a crown.

Are you planning to opt for endodontic therapy? If you are a smoker, you would certainly like to know how soon you can get back to smoking cigarettes. Perhaps, your smoking habit may be the reason behind the need for endodontic therapy.

Are smokers likely to develop dental complications?

You might have heard that smoking results in throat and lung cancer. But did you know that thousands of smokers die each year due to mouth cancer? Slowly but steadily, tobacco erodes your oral health.

As per study findings shared by Boston University’s Professor Elizabeth Krall Kaye, smoking has consequences for your teeth. Dr. Kaye said the risk faced by patients depends on the amount of time they smoked. Such persons also get more dental cavities and are at a greater risk of tooth loss.

Issues like ulcers, mouth sores, tartar build-up are more prevalent in individuals who smoke regularly. For example, CDC’s data suggests habitual smokers are 64.2% more likely to face gum disease.

Smoking can trigger other complications like:

  • l Bad taste and breath
  • l Decreased taste sensation
  • l Tooth staining
  • l Smoker’s keratosis
  • l Dry socket

Cigarettes and infections go hand-in-hand

When you smoke or consume tobacco products, you indirectly expose your mouth to a ton of chemicals.

Inhaling a dangerous mixture of compounds present in tobacco smoke can result in adverse health conditions. Consequences include oxidative stress, impaired immune responses, inflammation, and even DNA damage. Put simply, if you continue smoking, your body may become defenseless to complications.

Cigarette smoke consists of free radicals in large amounts that can harm the respiratory tract and alveolar epithelial cells leading to higher chances of infection.

As far as the mouth is concerned, smoking impacts saliva production, resulting in a dry mouth. Microorganisms thrive in such an environment and damage the tooth enamel. Thus, your teeth remain prone to degeneration, cavities, and other fatal diseases.

Ignoring the bacteria can also cause irreparable damage to the teeth and contamination of dental pulp and gums. In addition, such patients start experiencing pain when the infection spreads to the tooth and gums.

Smoking impacts the healing process after surgery

A recently published report from WHO (World Health Organization) certified the link between smoking and the delayed healing process.

The study shows how smokers are prone to impaired wound healing, infections, and other post-surgical complications.

It is a well-proven fact that smoking impacts the lungs. The compromised immune system proves deadly. In addition, it increases the chances of infection at the wound site due to delayed healing.

What’s the harm in trying a single cigar, you might feel. Well, even smoking a single cigarette can reduce the body’s capacity for delivering nutrients to the affected area.

Cigarettes consist of carbon monoxide and nicotine. These can increase the chances of health-related complications after the surgery. No wonder because both can negatively impact the oxygen level in blood.

Smoking can result in root canal failure

Estimates suggest half of the adults in the US need one endodontic therapy at least once by the time they reach 50.

According to a study quoted in the Journal of Dental Research, individuals who smoke cigarettes are twice as likely to require the procedure.

More than 95 percent of pulp canal surgeries become successful. However, success depends on post-surgery care. Therefore, the patient must follow dos and don’t as per the dental office aftercare plan.

Your dentist will suggest items to eat, drink, clean the affected tooth and surrounding gums. Following these guidelines is crucial if you want the operated tooth to remain in good condition.

As smoking can delay healing, it can make things difficult post endodontic therapy. So, when it comes to aftercare tips, avoiding cigarettes and tobacco products makes it in the top ten list.

Smoking can damage the soft tissues surrounding the root canal treatment. These can be even more sensitive post-completion of the procedure. Thus, most dentists ask patients to avoid smoking for a few months post-surgery due to tobacco’s ability to harm teeth.

Quit smoking to reduce complications

Administering anesthesia is necessary in case of specific dental procedures. Regular smokers are more likely to experience problems due to anesthetic. Fortunately, there’s a way to control these possible reactions.

Smokers can reduce the risk of complications by quitting smoking at least four weeks before the surgery.

Patients can get a better health outcome if they quit smoking, as per the World Health Organization’s study.


Do you experience severe pain post-consumption of tobacco products or smoking cigarettes? Then, get in touch with your local dental clinic and opt for an oral check-up.

Read More: How Social Media Can Help to Overcome Smoking Habits


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