After Exposure of an Impacted Tooth

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Do not disturb the wound. If surgical packing has been placed, leave it alone. The pack helps to keep the tooth exposed. However, if the pack gets dislodged or falls out, do not get alarmed.


Some bleeding or redness in the saliva is normal for 24 hours. In most instances, the bleeding can 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 on the cheek in the area of surgery. Apply the ice continuously, as much as possible, for the first 36 hours.


Drink plenty of fluids. Avoid hot liquids or food. Soft food 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 as soon as you feel the local anesthetic wearing off. For moderate pain, take 1 or 2 Tylenol or Extra Strength Tylenol every 3-4 hours. You may take Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) instead of Tylenol. Ibuprofen bought over the counter comes in 200 mg tablets: take 2-3 tablets every 3-4 hours as needed for pain. For severe pain, take the prescribed medication as directed.

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.

REMEMBER: A clean wound heals better and faster.


Keep physical activities to a minimum immediately following surgery. Exercise may cause throbbing or bleeding. If throbbing or bleeding occurs, you should discontinue exercising. In addition, take into account that your body is probably weakened by a lack of normal nourishment.