Following surgery, try not to disturb the wound. You may have surgical packing in place to keep the tooth exposed. Do not bother the packing, but also do not worry if it falls out on its own.
You may experience some minor bleeding or red saliva for the first 24 hours following your surgery. If you have excessive bleeding, bite down on a piece of gauze for half an hour. Ensure that the gauze pad is placed directly over the incision site. While bleeding will eventually slow and ultimately stop, it may require multiple gauze changes before reaching that point. Once bleeding has ceased, the gauze may be removed indefinitely. If bleeding persists or cannot be controlled, contact our office.
Swelling is a normal occurrence after surgery. The best way to control swelling is by applying ice to the side of the face where the procedure took place. For the first 36-48 hours after surgery, use ice continuously, as much as possible, while you are awake. On the third day post surgery, discontinue the icing and begin a warm compress or washcloth with a gentle massage to promote swelling reduction.
Drink plenty of fluids and avoid hot foods and beverages. On the day of surgery, stick to soft foods and liquids, then advance to a normal diet as soon as you feel comfortable doing so. If a gold chain or other hardware was connected to your impacted tooth, clean and rinse the area daily to promote healing and avoid infection.
It is recommended to begin any prescribed pain medications prior to your numbing medicine wearing off.
If you experience mild to moderate pain, you may take 1-2 tablets of Tylenol or Extra Strength Tylenol every 6 hours. Ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil) may also be taken to help control not only pain, but also swelling and inflammation. Ibuprofen generally comes in 200mg tablets and may be taken in a 600mg dosage every 6 hours, or an 800mg dosage every 8 hours.
For more severe pain, take narcotic pain medications if prescribed by your surgeon and use them as directed. Note that narcotic pain medications can cause you to feel groggy, and they may also slow your reflexes. When taking narcotic pain medicines, avoid driving, operating machinery, and drinking alcohol. Narcotics prescribed by your doctor may also contain Tylenol, and it is important to not take any additional Tylenol if you are regularly taking this medication. In contrast, Ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil) does not contain any Tylenol and is safe to take alongside any narcotic.
Antibiotics can help prevent infection, so make sure you take them as directed. Do not continue using antibiotics in the event of a rash or other adverse reaction. Contact the office if you have any questions.
Keeping your mouth clean is an important part of the healing process. Beginning the day after surgery, clean your mouth after every meal. Brush your teeth as best you can, and wash your mouth with a warm salt water mix. Use this mix 3 times a day until your mouth is fully healed. If your impacted tooth has a gold chain or other hardware, be sure to clean and rinse the area daily to promote healing and avoid infection.
The day after your surgery, we advise keeping physical activity to a minimum. Physical activity may result in bleeding or throbbing. Advance to light, and then normal activity as tolerated.