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.


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 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. We recommend a soft, non-chew diet for about 7 days.  Slowly progress back to a normal consistency diet as tolerated after.


As much as we hope that you are pain-free, it is expected that you may have some discomfort. Our management goal is to make this discomfort tolerable enough during the initial healing until this begins to subside.  You should begin taking pain medication before you feel the local anesthetic wearing off. Ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin, 400-600mg) may be taken every 6 hours for the first few days and then tapered if they are not necessary. For discomfort not controlled with the Advil or Motrin alone, 1 or 2 Tylenol or Extra Strength Tylenol may be taken every 3-4 hours along with the normal dosing of the Advil or Motrin. If the discomfort is not well controlled with these two medications, the  prescribed back up pain medication can be taken instead of the plain Tylenol alone. Do not take any of the above medication if you are allergic, or have been instructed by your doctor not to take it.

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. 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.