The exposure of impacted teeth is a common surgical procedure done usually in conjunction with orthodontics. Post-operative care is very important. Please follow the instructions below to aid in healing and for your comfort.

Immediately Following Surgery

  • The gauze pad placed over the surgical area should be kept in place for a half hour. Repeat if needed. After this time, the gauze pad should be removed and discarded. Refer to the section on Bleeding for an explanation.
  • Place ice packs to the sides of your face where surgery was performed. Refer to the section on Swelling for an explanation.
  • Vigorous mouth rinsing, using a straw, or touching the wound area following surgery should be avoided. This may initiate bleeding by causing the blood clot that has formed to become dislodged.
  • Take the prescribed pain medications as soon as you begin to feel discomfort. This will usually coincide with the local anesthetic becoming diminished. The use of ibuprofen will help with mild to moderate discomfort and swelling.
  • Restrict your activities the day of surgery, rest and keep your head elevated. Resume normal activity when you feel comfortable.

See below for a detailed explanation of your post operative care. Call us anytime for any questions or concerns.


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 30 minutes. Repeat if necessary. If bleeding continues, bite on a moistened tea bag for 30 minutes. The tannic acid in the tea bag helps to form a clot by contracting bleeding vessels. To minimize further bleeding, do not become excited, sit upright, and avoid exercise. If bleeding does not subside, call for further instructions.


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 may not become apparent until the day following surgery and will not reach its maximum until two to three days post-operatively. 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 sides of the face where surgery was performed. The ice packs should be used 20 minutes on – 20 minutes off or alternate sides every 20 minutes while you are awake. After 24 hours, ice has no beneficial effect. Thirty-six hours following surgery, the application of moist heat to the sides of the face is beneficial in reducing the size of the swelling.


For the first few days after surgery, eat soft foods and drink plenty of water. DO NOT use a straw; the sucking motion can cause more bleeding by dislodging the blood clot. Try to avoid the surgical sites. Advance your diet as you feel up to it. Eating and drinking will make you feel better, have more strength, less discomfort, and heal faster.

CAUTION: If you suddenly sit up or stand from a lying position, you may become dizzy. If you are lying down following surgery, make sure you sit for one minute before standing. It may also be a sign of dehydration; this can be avoided by drinking more.

Keep the mouth clean

Rinse your mouth gently the next morning. You can brush your teeth the night of surgery but stay clear of surgery sites. The day after surgery you should begin rinsing with salt water at least five to six times a day. Mix a fourth of a teaspoon of salt with 8 ounces of warm water. Rinse gently after meals especially.

REMEMBER: A clean wound heals better and faster.

Nausea & Vomiting

In the event of nausea and/or vomiting following surgery, do not take anything by mouth for at least an hour including the prescribed medicine. You should then sip on Coke, tea, or ginger ale. You should sip slowly over a 15-minute period. When the nausea subsides, you can begin taking solid foods and the prescribed medicine.

Other Complications

  • A slight elevation of temperature immediately following surgery is not uncommon. If the temperature persists, notify the office. Tylenol or ibuprofen should be taken to reduce the fever.
  • If the corners of your mouth are stretched, they may dry out and crack. Your lips should be kept moist with an ointment such as Vaseline.

Every patient is different. Please call us anytime if you have any questions. We are here to help you.

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Schedule a consultation today to determine your best choices. During a consultation, patients meet with their surgeon and the staff to discuss procedure options in more detail. Patients may ask questions about desired outcome as well as view before and after photos of similar procedures.

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