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.

Bleeding

Some bleeding or redness in the saliva is normal for 24-36 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 continuous minutes by the clock (repeat 2-3 times), and try to avoid the impulse of frequently checking the wound.  If bleeding continues, please call for further instructions.

Swelling

Swelling is a normal occurrence after surgery.  To minimize swelling, apply an ice bag or a plastic bag or towel filled with ice cubes on the cheek in the area of surgery.  Apply the ice for one hour intervals (repeat 4-5 times per day) for the first 36 hours.

Diet

Drink plenty of fluids.  Avoid hot liquids or food.   Be sure to take any medications for high blood pressure that you have; untreated blood pressure and anxiety will most definitely prolong bleeding.  Soft food and liquids should be eaten on the day of surgery.  Return to a normal diet as soon as possible unless otherwise directed.

Pain

You should begin taking pain medication prior to the return of sensation at the affected site…which should be within an hour of leaving the office.  For moderate pain, the use of anti-inflammatories like Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or Aleve may be enough to offset the pain without the use of narcotics.  For most adult patients, two Aleve or 3-4 Motrin tablets, can be taken instead of narcotic pain medicines (or in conjunction with them).  Be sure to follow the directions on the package inserts, because each of these medications are given at different intervals.  Tylenol can be taken as well, but should not be mixed with most narcotic formulations (Tylenol is often already combined with those medicines).  For severe pain, the prescribed medication should be taken as directed (and can be taken with Aleve or Advil type medications as previously stated).

Oral Hygiene

Mouth cleanliness is essential to good healing.  Clean your mouth thoroughly after each meal beginning the day 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.  After the first 48 hours, mouthwashes can be used, but may burn the area slightly.

REMEMBER: A clean wound heals better and faster.

Activity

Keep physical activities to a minimum immediately following surgery.  Exercise should not occur on the days that general anesthesia has taken place nor if you have taken any narcotic medication in the past 6 hours.  If you are considering exercise, throbbing or bleeding may occur so take it easy when you first return to this form of activity.   If light-headedness or fainting occurs, then you should refrain from these activities until you have adequately replenished your fluids.  Be aware that your normal nutritional status has been diminished, so it may take a few days for you to return to your usual healthy self.