After Exposure of an Impacted Tooth

Bleeding

A certain amount of bleeding is to be expected following surgery to exposure an impacted tooth. Slight bleeding, oozing, or redness in the saliva is not uncommon. It is normal to experience blood-tinged saliva a few days after surgery, as well as slight oozing after eating or brushing your teeth. To resolve this, we recommend warm salt water rinses. To minimize further bleeding, do not become excited, sit upright, and avoid exercise. If bleeding does not subside, call for further instructions.

Swelling

The swelling that is normally expected is usually proportional to the surgery involved. The swelling will not become apparent until the day following surgery and will not reach its maximum until two to three days post-operatively.

However, with the exposure of a tooth, unless you were told it was a “difficult” procedure, post operative swelling should not be excessive.

A plastic bag filled with ice, frozen peas/corn, or a gel pack should be applied to the side of the face where surgery was performed. The ice packs should be used at 20 minute intervals, (20 minutes on and 20 minutes off. 48 hours following surgery, the application of moist heat to the sides of the face is beneficial in reducing the stiffness of the jaw.

Pain

We prescribed some pain medicine to keep you comfortable. Usually you are back to normal activities the next day and not needing any pain medication.

Diet

A liquid diet is recommended after this procedure—but NOTHING through a straw. The sucking motion can cause more bleeding by dislodging the blood clot.

Foods to eat: yogurt, ice cream, pudding, applesauce.

Foods to eat the next day: normal diet, just avoid chewing on the surgical site and do not eat sharp chips, nuts or popcorn.

Oral Hygiene

No rinsing of any kind should be performed until the day following surgery. You can brush your teeth the next morning of surgery and begin warm salt water rinses. The day after surgery you should begin rinsing at least five to six times a day with a cup of warm water mixed with a half teaspoon of salt.

Remember: a clean mouth heals faster.

Activity

Keep physical activities to a minimum immediately following surgery. See how you feel the next day, if it was not a “difficult” exposure of a tooth, you can usually resume normal activities except playing musical horn instruments for a week.

Sutures

Our surgeons usually use the dissolvable type of sutures/stitches that fall out between 5-7 days after surgery. Sutures are placed in the area of surgery to minimize post-operative bleeding and to help healing. Sometimes they become dislodged. This is no cause for alarm–just remove the suture from your mouth and discard it. If we used a type that needs to be removed, we will schedule you an appointment.

Nausea & Vomiting

In the event of nausea and/or vomiting following surgery, do not take anything by mouth for at least an hour including the prescribed medicine. Try sipping slowly over a 15 minute period on some ginger ale or another clear soda. When the nausea subsides, you can begin taking solid foods and the prescribed medicine.