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.
A small amount of bleeding is normal. This is generally controlled by keeping steady pressure on the bleeding area by biting firmly on the gauze placed by the surgical assistant. Pressure helps reduce bleeding and assists the formation of the clot. Once home, the pad can be gently removed. If bleeding persists, place a fresh, folded gauze pad over the area and apply pressure by biting firmly for 30 minutes. If bleeding continues in spite of the above, moisten a tea bag in cold water and place bag over the area, biting firmly for 30 minutes. Lying down with your head raised on several pillows also helps to stop bleeding. Apply an ice bag or cold compress to the cheek on that side. Be sure you take pain meds if uncomfortable, and remain calm. If you are unable to control excessive bleeding, call our office.
Swelling is normal ice packs applied for 20 minutes on, then 20 minutes off, will aid in controlling the amount of swelling, but will not prevent it completely. Swelling will usually peak two to four days after surgery. After 24 hours it will be helpful to apply moist heat to the swollen area. Use caution with heating pads, as some may burn facial skin
Drink plenty of cool liquids. 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 before you feel the local anesthetic wearing off. For moderate pain, 1 or 2 Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) 200 mg tablets: 2-3 tablets may be taken every 3-4 hours as needed for pain. For severe pain, the prescribed medication should be taken as directed.
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. 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.