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Oral surgery comes in many different forms. Whether it’s a bone graft, dental implant, tooth extraction or other treatment, maintaining healthy gums is important in the recovery process. This often includes eating a soft-foods diet, refraining from drinking through a straw and using any prescription medications as directed.

Tobacco use can be especially troublesome for maintaining postoperative gum health. The tar, chemicals, and potential heat 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.

At the same time, even occasional tobacco use increases your chances of a dangerous infection developing in the incision site of the healing gum tissues. This could call for additional treatment methods, including taking a course of prescription antibiotics. In an extreme case, the infection might even require an additional oral surgery to excise an abscess or other infected oral tissues.

If you have an upcoming oral surgery scheduled at our clinic, you should take the time to speak to your primary care physician about a cessation program. 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 972-594-7414 to seek further advice from Dr. Franco, Dr. Price, and Dr. Havard. Our friendly and professional team is always happy to help in any way we can.