After Exposure of an Impacted Tooth

Do not disturb the wound/surgical site. If a surgical packing was placed, please leave it alone – – the pack helps to keep the tooth exposed. If it becomes dislodged or falls out do not be alarmed – – please call during normal office hours and you will be given further care instructions if needed.

You may notice a gold chain coming out of the gum tissue and tied to the orthodontic wire or bracket. If it is completely loose and hanging down, please call our office.


Some bleeding or redness in the saliva is normal for 24 hours following surgery. Excessive bleeding, which results in your mouth filling rapidly with blood, is frequently controlled by biting with pressure on 2-3 pieces of gauze rolled or folded, and lightly moistened, placed directly on the bleeding wound for 30-60 minutes. Replace the gauze if necessary. Bleeding can occur off and on up to 24 hours following surgery. If bleeding is excessive, or continues, please call our office.


Swelling is a normal occurrence after surgery. To minimize swelling apply an ice pack, or a plastic bag or towel filled with ice, on the cheek in the area of the surgery. Place a barrier between the ice pack and the skin. Apply the ice continuously for the first 48 hours. If you have swelling after 48 hours, discontinue ice and instead apply moist heat to the outside of the face.


While you are numb, a soft, no-chew diet is recommended. Consume soft foods and liquids on the day of surgery. Drink plenty of fluids. Avoid hot liquids or food until the numbness has worn off. Return to a normal diet as soon as possible after the numbness wears off, unless you have been given other instructions.


Begin taking pain medication as soon as possible – -with food – – when you arrive home. Pain medications work best if taken before the numbness (local anesthesia) wears off. For mild pain, take 1 or 2 Tylenol or Extra Strength or Ibuprofen as directed on the bottle – – but only as ordered by your doctor. For moderate to severe pain, medications(s) prescribed by your doctor should be taken as directed.

Oral Hygiene

Keeping your mouth clean, especially the surgical site, 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 near the surgical site. If you were given a mouth rinse to use, rinse your mouth as directed starting the day after surgery. Otherwise, rinse with warm salt water (1/2 teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) after each meal up to six times a day. Continue this procedure until healing is complete.

Remember: A clean wound heals better and faster.


Restrict your physical activity to a minimum immediately following surgery. If you exercise, pain and bleeding may increase. If this occurs,discontinue exercising immediately. Be aware that you may not be taking in a normal amount of food and fluids for a short time immediately following your surgery. Exercise may weaken you. If you get light-headed, stop exercising.

It is important to keep any appointments you have scheduled with your orthodontist.