After Exposure of an Impacted Tooth
Do not disturb the wound. If surgical packing was placed, leave it alone. The pack helps to keep the tooth exposed. If it gets dislodged or falls out do not get alarmed.
Some bleeding or redness in the saliva is normal for 24 hours. Excessive bleeding which results in your mouth filling rapidly with blood can frequently be controlled by biting with pressure on a gauze pad placed directly on the bleeding wound for 30 minutes. If bleeding continues please call for further instructions.
Swelling is a normal occurrence after surgery. To minimize swelling, apply an ice bag or a plastic bag or towel filled with ice cubes or a bag of frozen peas or corn on the cheek in the area of surgery. Apply the ice continuously 30-45 minutes on and 15-30 minutes off as much as possible for the first 36 hours.
Drink plenty of fluids. Avoid hot liquids or food until the numbness subsides. Soft food (soup, mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, eggs, bananas, yogurt, apples sauce, pudding…) and liquids should be eaten on the day of surgery. Return to a normal diet as soon as possible unless otherwise directed.
You should begin taking pain medication prior to feeling the local anesthetic wearing off. For moderate pain, 1 or 2 Tylenol or Extra Strength may be taken every 4-6 hours for the first 2-3 days following surgery. Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) is preferred to Tylenol. Ibuprofen bought over the counter comes in 200 mg tablets: 2-3 tablets may be taken every 4-6 hours as needed for pain. For severe pain, the prescribed medication should be taken as directed while continuing the Ibuprofen.
Mouth cleanliness is essential to good healing. Clean your mouth thoroughly after each meal beginning a day or two after surgery. Brush your teeth as best you can. Rinse with warm salt water (1/2 teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) six times a day. Continue this procedure until healing is complete (at least 2-3 weeks).
REMEMBER: A clean wound heals better and faster.
Keep physical activities to a minimum immediately following surgery. If you are considering exercise, throbbing or bleeding may occur. If this occurs, you should discontinue exercising. Be aware that your normal nourishment intake is reduced. Exercise may weaken you. If you get light headed, stop exercising.