After Exposure of an Impacted Tooth
Home Care After Impacted Tooth Exposure
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, but do call our office to schedule an appointment for evaluation.
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 20 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 10 minutes on, 20 minutes off much as possible for the first 24 hours. After 24 hours, switch to moist heat (a warm face cloth).
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, 2 acetaminophen (Tylenol®) 325 mg tablets every 6 hours. Ibuprofen (Advil®, Motrin®) may be alternated with acetaminophen. Ibuprofen bought over the counter comes in 200 mg tablets: 3 tablets may be taken every 6 hours as needed for pain. Alternating between acetaminophen and ibuprofen every 3 hours gives maximum benefit without risk of overdose. For severe pain, the prescribed medication should be taken as directed instead of plain acetaminophen (Tylenol®) because the prescription also contains acetaminophen.
Mouth cleanliness is essential to good healing. Clean your mouth thoroughly after each meal beginning the day after surgery. Brush your teeth gently as best you can. Rinse with warm salt water (1/2 teaspoon of salt in an 8oz. glass of warm water) 5-6 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. 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.