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.
Swelling is a normal occurrence after surgery. To minimize swelling apply an ice bag or a plastic bag filled with ice cubes on your cheek near the area of surgery. Apply the ice as much as possible for the first 36 hours.
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 mild to moderate pain, you may find that ibuprofen or Tylenol are effective. Often motrin (prescription strength ibuprofen) is prescribed by our office. Our office also may prescribe a narcotic pain medication that can be used for moderate to severe pain. These narcotic medications often contain acetaminophen (active ingredient in Tylenol) and should not be taken along with other Tylenol or acetaminophen containing products. Ibuprofen and acetaminophen can typically be taken along with each other, and some patients find that “alternating” between the two is very effective. An example of this would be to take motrin every 8 hours, and take the narcotic pain medication (typically can be taken every 4-6 hours) in between the doses of motrin. Alternatively, you could also take a motrin, and if your pain control is not adequate after 30 minutes, take the narcotic medication.
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.
Narcotic pain medicine will make you groggy and will slow down your reflexes. 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 normally if possible. Rinse with warm salt water (1 teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) 3-4 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.