After Exposure of an Impacted Tooth
Do not disturb the wound. If surgical packing was placed, leave it alone. The packing helps to keep the tooth exposed. If it gets dislodged or falls out, do not get alarmed but please contact our office for instructions.
Some bleeding or redness in the saliva is normal for 24 hours. Excessive bleeding that rapidly fills your mouth 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.
Moderate swelling is normal and peaks in 2-3 days then gradually goes down in the next 5-7 days. Mild skin bruising may accompany the swelling. Difficulty in swallowing and inability to open up the mouth widely occurs commonly after surgery secondary to the swelling of the tissues in the area. Chewing soft foods and moving your jaw helps this to gradually improve as the swelling and discomfort go away. Place an ice pack over the area nearest the surgery for 30 minutes on and 10 minutes off for the first 24 hours then discontinue the ice packs.
Drink plenty of fluids. Avoid hot liquids or hard foods. Only consume soft food and liquids 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, 1 or 2 Tylenol or Extra Strength Tylenol may be taken every 3-4 hours. Ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) may be taken instead of Tylenol. Ibuprofen bought over the counter comes in 200 mg tablets: 2-4 tablets may be taken every 3-4 hours as needed for pain, not to exceed 3200 mg daily for an adult. Consult our practice for individuals under 18. Do not take the two medications at the same time.
For severe pain, the prescribed medication should be taken as directed. Do not take any of the above medication if you are allergic to them, or have been instructed by your doctor not to take it. Do not drive an automobile or work around machinery. Avoid alcoholic beverages. Pain or discomfort following surgery should subside more and more every day. If pain persists, it may require attention and you should call the office.
Oral 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. If you 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.