After Exposure of an Impacted Tooth 

Do not disturb the wound. If surgical packing was placed, leave it in place. The packing helps to keep the impacted tooth exposed and prevent pain as you heal. 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. Make sure to place the gauze directly over the surgical area and apply pressure by biting. Change gauze every 30 minutes until bleeding subsides. When resting, keeping the head slightly elevated will help bleeding subside. 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 and keep the head elevated. On the 4th day following surgery, apply low heat to the swollen areas as often and as long as possible. Continue moist or dry heat for the next few days until swelling disappears. 

Straws and Smoking

No using straws or smoking for a week, as this will dislodge the clots. Nicotine in the blood stream will inhibit the clotting process. 


On the first day, a liquid diet is best, drinking as much fluids as possible. The day following surgery, a soft diet is recommended, chewing only what you feel you are able to eat without discomfort. It is important to avoid anything with seeds, nuts, rice, chips, or anything with small hard particles that will not dissolve and that might get stuck in the extraction site. 

Pain Medication

You should begin taking pain medication before the local anesthetic wears off. It is best to start the pain medication within 2 hours of returning home. Be sure to eat or drink something 30 minutes prior to taking pain medication to avoid an upset stomach. For moderate pain, one or two tablets of Tylenol or Extra Strength Tylenol may be taken every 3-4 hours. Ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) may be taken instead of Tylenol. Ibuprofen bought over the counter comes in 200 mg tablets: 2-3 tablets may be taken four times daily, not to exceed 3200mg daily for an adult. Consult our practice for individuals under 18. Do not take the two medications at the same time.

For severe pain, the prescribed medication should be taken as directed. 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. 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 Hygiene

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 (Half 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.

Physical Activity

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.