Exposure of an Impacted Tooth
If you went through a surgical procedure in order to expose an impacted tooth, it is important to take certain steps following your appointment in order to promote healing and to stay comfortable. Most importantly, don’t disturb the wound. If your surgeon put in surgical packing, leave it be, as this will help to make sure the tooth stays exposed. However, should the packing fall out or be dislodged, this is no cause for concern.
It is perfectly normal to experience bleeding for the first 24 hours, or you may also witness saliva that is tinged pink or red. Excessive bleeding is less common, but should your mouth fill with blood rapidly, you can control it with gauze. Place the gauze pad directly onto the wound and bite down for 30 minutes. If the bleeding continues or worsens, please call our office.
After a dental procedure, swelling is common. Fortunately, you can minimize it by applying a bag of ice or towel filled with ice to the cheek. You can do this continuously or as much as needed the first 12–24 hours after your procedure.
Diet and Nutrition
It is important that you drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated following your surgery. Coffee, tea, and other hot beverages should be avoided, as should hot foods. Soft liquids and foods will be your best bet the day of your surgery, and you should begin to return to your normal diet the following day. If you have questions about what you can and cannot eat following surgery, be sure to ask your surgeon or call for more clarification.
Pain and Discomfort
It is a good idea to start taking pain medication four hours after your procedure, as this will be prior to the anesthetic wearing off. If you are experiencing moderate pain, over-the-counter pain relievers like Tylenol, Extra Strength Tylenol, or ibuprofen can be used, but be sure to follow correct dosage instructions. Your surgeon may also prescribe prescription pain medication for use in severe pain situations, and you should always follow doctor’s orders regarding how and when to take these drugs.
Keeping your mouth clean is an important step for promoting good healing. Starting the day after your surgery, clean your mouth after each meal, and brush your teeth as you are able. The day after your procedure, start rinsing your mouth at least five times per day with a warm salt water solution. You should continue with this procedure until the healing process has been completed. Remember, a clean wound will heal faster.
Keep activity to a minimum following your surgery, and give your body a chance to rest and recuperate. Bleeding and throbbing may occur if you return to exercise too quickly, and you may also be weak. If you do try and exercise and feel lightheaded, be sure to stop working out right away.
If you have additional questions about how you should care for your mouth following your surgery to expose an impacted tooth, feel free to contact our office.