After Exposure of an Impacted Tooth

Do not disturb the surgical site. You will notice a gold chain that protrudes from the gum tissue and is secured to one of your orthodontic brackets.  You may gently brush and rinse the gold chain and the surgical site in order to keep them clean.

Bleeding

A certain amount of bleeding is to be expected following surgery. Slight bleeding, oozing, or redness in the saliva is not uncommon. Excessive bleeding may be controlled by first rinsing or wiping any old clots from your mouth, then placing a gauze pad over the area and biting firmly for thirty minutes. Repeat if necessary. If bleeding continues, bite on a moistened black tea bag for thirty minutes. The tannins in the black tea cause blood vessel contraction which helps decrease bleeding. If you are experiencing bleeding, sit upright, remain calm and minimize activity. If your bleeding does not subside, call the office at 970-498-0196 for further instructions.

Pain

For moderate pain, Over the counter, Acetaminophen (Tylenol) or Ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) may be used. For patients who are younger than 12 years of age, pediatric dosing should be followed when taking over the counter pain medications.  If you were given a prescription pain medication by Dr. Thurgood, this dosing has been calculated for you. You should begin taking pain medication as soon as you feel the local anesthetic wearing off. Do not take any of the above medications if you are allergic, or have been instructed by your doctor not to take it.

Swelling

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. Often, the swelling will not become apparent until the day following surgery and will not reach its maximum until two to three days following surgery. However, the swelling may be minimized by the immediate use of ice packs. Two plastic bags filled with ice, or ice packs should be applied to the areas of the face and jaws where surgery was performed. The ice packs should be left on for no longer than twenty minutes at a time, with a twenty minute break between applications. After twenty-four hours, ice has no beneficial effect, and can actually increase the incidence of swelling. If swelling or jaw stiffness has persisted for several days, there is no cause for alarm. This is a normal reaction to surgery. Twenty-four hours following surgery, the application of moist heat to the affected areas of the face and jaws is beneficial in reducing the stiffness in the jaws.

Diet

After general anesthetic or I.V. sedation, clear liquids should be taken initially. You may eat soft, cool foods and avoid chewing near the surgical sites. High calorie, high protein intake is very important. Nourishment should be taken regularly. You should prevent dehydration by taking fluids regularly. Your food intake will be limited for the first few days. You should compensate
for this by increasing your fluid intake. At least 5-6 glasses of liquid should be taken daily. Try not to miss meals. You will have more strength, less discomfort and heal faster if you maintain proper nutrition.

Oral Hygiene

Mouth cleanliness is essential to good healing. Clean your mouth thoroughly after each meal beginning the day after surgery. Brush your teeth as best you can, it is ok to gently brush the surgical site and the gold chain. Rinse with warm salt water (1/2 teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) six times a day. Continue this procedure until healing is complete.

Activity

Keep physical activities to a minimum immediately following surgery. If you are considering 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.