After Exposure of an Impacted Tooth

After exposure of an impacted tooth, patients should maintain surgical packing for as long as possible. It is there to protect the wound and give blood a chance to clot.

For the first 24 hours, light bleeding or redness in the saliva is normal. If you experience excessive bleeding, put a gauze pad on the wound and hold pressure on it for 30 minutes or more. If you are concerned about uncontrolled bleeding, call the office for more advice/help.

Remember: After the surgery, rinsing your mouth can prevent or destroy blood clotting.


The day after surgery, you can brush your teeth, but be gentle. Be especially gentle when rinsing. To keep the wound clean, use a salt water rinse. To make it, use ½ teaspoon of salt per cup of warm water. Rinse six times a day, especially after meals.


Face, lip or cheek swelling around the surgical site is a normal occurrence. Apply an ice pack to the area during the first 36 hours. Pain medications may be prescribed by your doctor. Take only as directed and only when necessary.


Until your healing process is well underway, stick to liquids and soft foods. Do not have hot liquids or hot foods. Sharp foods such as crackers or chips can aggravate the surgical site and restart bleeding. Due to concerns about dizziness or elevated blood pressure, avoid exercise on the day of your surgery and, when possible, for several days afterward. Give your blood a chance to clot and your body a chance to heal.