Can You Smoke After a Root Canal


Root canal is a dental procedure that involves removing your pulp. The pulp is the soft center of your tooth, made up of nerves, connective tissues, and blood vessels. During the procedure, your tooth’s canal is cleaned and filled with gutta-percha material, followed by a temporary filling.

A root canal becomes necessary when the pulp becomes infected, inflamed, or damaged. About 97% of all root canal procedures are often successful, the few times out it turns out to be unsuccessful, is usually because proper aftercare was not given after the procedure.

This aftercare includes the type of food you should eat and those you should avoid, lifestyle choices you have to make, and so on.

Now the question is “can you smoke after a root canal?” let’s find out.


Smoking generally is harmful to healthy gums and can pose threats such as gum disease, cavities, tartar buildup, and shifting teeth. Your mouth is full of living tissues, smoking affects blood flows to your gums by blocking nutrients and oxygen to your mouth. Smoking also lowers your body’s immune system, making them weak to fight off gum infections and heal.


Smoking is extremely harmful after having a tooth extraction or after any oral surgery. Smoking can break off blood clots and cause dry sockets. Your mouth can feel numb and tender after a root canal procedure and as a smoker, you may want to continue smoking. However, smoking after a root canal is not recommended as this might interfere with your healing process.

There are reasons you should not smoke after a root canal. Some of them are:

1) Smoking while still recovering from a root canal may delay your healing.
2) You tend to make yourself susceptible to more complications if you smoke after a root canal procedure.
3) Smoking after a root canal can contribute to bone loss, blood vessel dysfunction and may decrease how your blood carries oxygen.
4) You may be prescribed some medications after a root canal, which may not be compatible with smoking.
5) There are no tobacco products endorsed by the American Dental Association, as smoking is considered unhealthy.

How long after root canal can I smoke?

It takes a few days to 2 weeks to completely heal from a root canal. During this time, you should not smoke.

Smoking is an addictive and habitual act, you should avoid smoking for as long as possible after a root canal. Smoking when you have not completely healed from a root canal may increase the risk of needing another root canal procedure and this is a very expensive treatment.


Brushing and flossing are important even after a root canal. Improved oral hygiene reduces your chances of needing another root canal in the future. After your root canal, you will experience numbness in your mouth, you should wait for this wear-off before you eat anything, or you will bite your cheek or tongue.
You may feel sore in the area where the pulp was removed and might feel some mild pain, but your doctor will prescribe some over-the-counter medication.

Part of your root canal aftercare includes what you should eat and what you should not eat.
Here are some foods you could eat while recovering from your root canal:- oatmeal- banana- scrambled eggs- pasta- omelet- vegetable soup- avocados- yoghurt.

However, here are some foods you should not eat while you are still recovering from a root canal:- gum- hard candy- ice cubes- hot soup- cold smoothies. The temperature of the food you eat matters too.

You must avoid anything other than cold or room temperature water during the first 3 days after the procedure, this way you can avoid burning yourself. Do not chew on the side where you had the procedure done until it is completely healed. 

You will have to attend regular follow-ups after your procedure and one last one after all your follow-ups are done. This is because you will need to get a permanent crown set in place. Crowns are artificial teeth that can be made from porcelain or gold. The importance of a crown is its realistic appearance. 

It may take you several weeks to get used to how your tooth feels after a root canal, you should not be disturbed, it is normal.

Can you smoke after a Root Canal (COMPLICATIONS)

Mild pain after the procedure is normal, and the pain should be around the area where you had the root canal done. If the pain spreads to other parts of your mouth and becomes severe, you should contact your doctor.

Other symptoms that may suggest complications from your root canal are:

  • When the crown falls off
  • Swelling
  • Return of pre-root canal symptoms

This could be a sign of another damaged tooth or a sign that indicates that the original root canal was ineffective and you may need another procedure.


For your root canal to be successful, you have to adhere to the instructions your doctor will give to you. As long as you follow the root canal aftercare guidelines, your permanent filling will last as long as possible. 

Smoking after a root canal may interfere with your healing process, it is safer to wait 2 weeks at least after the procedure before you return to your normal routine.

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