After Exposure of an Impacted Tooth

Home Instructions After Impacted Tooth Exposure

After Impacted tooth exposure, do not disturb the wound. 


Some bleeding or redness in the saliva is normal for 24 hours. 

  • Bite on gauze for 30 minutes – do not chew on it. Remove it and check for bleeding. Repeat as needed with fresh gauze only if active bleeding is taking place.
  • The gauze must be placed directly over the surgical site to be effective. Firm pressure is what stops the bleeding
  • A dark tea bag (i.e. Lipton) slightly moistened with cold water may be very helpful in place of the gauze. Bite on tea bag for 45 minutes. The tannic acid in the black or brown teas helps to form a clot 
  • Bleeding for the first day on and off is normal. If bleeding persists, or is excessive, please notify us.
  • Do NOT eat, sleep or drink with gauze in your mouth.
  • Do not rinse, spit or use a straw for the first 24 hours. This will disturb the blood clot and prolong bleeding.  It is best to avoid smoking for several days after having oral surgery.


The swelling that is normally expected is usually proportional to the surgery involved. Swelling around the mouth, cheeks, eyes, and sides of the face is not uncommon. This is the body’s normal reaction to surgery and eventual repair. The swelling will not become apparent until the day following surgery and will not reach its maximum until 2-3 days post-operatively. However, to minimize swelling:

  • Apply ice packs immediately to all areas where surgery was performed.
  • Place the ice packs on for 20 to 30 minutes (or as much as tolerated) and off for 20 to 30 minutes. This process can be repeated for the first 24 to 48 hours as needed.

Forty-eight hours following surgery, the application of moist heat to the sides of the face is beneficial in reducing the size of the swelling.


Your nutrition is extremely important. Drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration. Avoid hot liquids or food for the first 24 hours as these may cause the surgical sites to bleed further. A soft food diet is recommended for several days after surgery. Return to a normal diet as soon as possible unless otherwise directed.

  • Do not eat any foods that require chewing while you are numb
  • No hot food or drink on day of surgery so as to minimize bleeding. Start with a cool or lukewarm soft diet the day of surgery along with plenty of fluids. No hard or crunchy food for 5-7 days.
  • Depending on the location of the surgical site, you may be instructed NOT to bite into food for several days.  Special instructions will be given to each patient. 


Fill your prescriptions and take your medication as directed.

  • Take the first dose of pain medication after you get home before the numbness wears off. We recommend you not take the medication on an empty stomach, so take it with a large glass of liquid or light food (milkshake, Smoothie, soup, etc.).
  • 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. Avoid the surgical site as instructed.  Brush your teeth normally if possible. Rinse with warm salt water (1 teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) six times a day or your favorite mouthwash. Continue this procedure until healing is complete.

REMEMBER: A clean wound heals better and faster.


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.

Any questions or concerns, call our office at (847) 945-6700