What to do About Sinus Problems After a Root Canal
Root canals are an extremely common dental procedure, but sometimes post-operative problems can arise, including sinus issues.
How Are Root Canals and Sinus Issues Related?
Root canal procedures done on your upper teeth are the only root canals that may lead to issues with your sinuses. Your upper teeth and the lining of your sinus are located very close together, and because the sinus lining is very thin, there is a possibility of a root canal procedure damaging the lining. If your root canal treatment was done by a dentist who was not careful with their tools, was inexperienced, or didn’t pay attention to the pressure they were applying, it is more likely for your sinus lining to be damaged after a root canal on your upper teeth.
What Are Some Common Sinus Issues Patients May Experience After a Root Canal?
After a root canal on your upper teeth, these are the sinus issues you may develop:
● Root canal failure: In the event that your root canal fails to remove the source of the infection, the root of the tooth will continue to experience pus build up. This pus can continue to build up pressure until it bursts through the lining of the sinus and drains directly into the sinuses. There are a few different reasons that could cause a root canal failure, including cracks in the roots, obstructions preventing the dentist from thoroughly cleaning the area, or unidentified canals that the dentist missed. Some of the most common indicators of this sinus issue are a constantly running nose, clogged sinuses on one side of your face, a red eye on the same side of your face, and experiencing a musty or metallic smell or taste. If you are experiencing these symptoms, see your dentist to resolve the failed root canal.
● Sinus communication: A sinus communication occurs when a very small hole is made in your sinus lining. Sinus communications are the most commonly experienced side effect of a root canal. These holes are so small they often heal on their own, taking about 2-3 days to fully heal before you are symptom-free. Symptoms of a sinus communication can include feeling like air is rushing over the hole, a runny nose, post-nasal drip, or fluid entering your nose when you are drinking. If symptoms persist more than 3 days, don’t visit your doctor to mask the sinus infection symptoms; return to your dentist.
● Puncturing of your sinus lining: Accidentally puncturing your sinus lining during a root canal is rare, and only occurs if your dentist was careless during the procedure. While a sinus communication is a very small hole that will heal naturally, a punctured sinus is a much larger hole that almost
always needs sutures before it can begin to heal. Sinus communications are common side effects, but punctured sinuses should not happen during a root canal. If your sinus lining has been punctured accidentally during a root canal procedure, you should not return to the same dentist for your sutures. Punctured sinus lining can cause headaches, pressure in your sinus, and sinus pain. If you experience these symptoms along with nosebleeds or liquid entering your nose while drinking, you likely have a punctured sinus lining.
Contact Bixby Knolls Dentist if you would like to learn more and schedule a consultation if you believe a root canal is necessary.