After Exposure of an Impacted Tooth

Do not disturb the surgical site. If surgical packing was placed, please leave it in position. The pack helps to keep the tooth exposed. If it becomes dislodged or falls out, do not get alarmed.


Some bleeding or redness in the saliva is normal for 24 hours. If continuous bleeding persists beyond 24 hours please call our office.


Swelling is normally expected after oral surgery and may be minimized by the immediate use of cold packs for the first 12-24 hours. Apply the cold pack to the outside of the face directly over the surgical sites. Do this 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off while awake. The swelling is usually the greatest on the 2nd and 3rd day after surgery, slowly resolving with time. Warm moist heat (a hot water bottle or a warm moist towel) may be used on the outside of the face periodically starting on the 3rd day after surgery and continued until all swelling and/or bruising is gone.


Drink plenty of fluids. Soft food and liquids should be eaten on the day of surgery. You may return to a normal diet the following day unless otherwise directed. Hot foods and liquids may increase bleeding on the day of the surgery and should be avoided.


Use your prescription as directed on the label. The patient will be comfortable following surgery due to the local anesthetic placed at the surgical sites during the procedure. It is best to start taking the pain medication while still numb. You may take one pain pill as soon as you get home then take the remainder as prescribed on the label. Many pain medications are opioids such as hydrocodone, codeine, and propoxyphene and may cause nausea. Take a full 8 ounces of a clear liquid (water, 7-up, or ginger ale) when taking the pain medications to minimize nausea. Caution: If you are lying down following surgery, make sure you sit for one minute before standing.

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, being gentle in the surgical site. You may rinse with warm salt water (1/2 teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) several times a day.


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 food intake is reduced. Exercise may weaken you. If you get light headed, stop exercising.