How are root canals related to sinuses? It is very common to have sinusitis issues after a root canal. The root canals are located very close to t
How are root canals related to sinuses?
It is very common to have sinusitis issues after a root canal. The root canals are located very close to the sinus membrane, which is very thin and delicate. When dentists remove the pulp from the tooth during the procedure and the root of the tooth is cleaned, the doctor can accidentally hit the sinus lining and open a “sinus communication”.
In simple terms, sinus communication is a very tiny hole in the sinus lining. The lining is very thin and delicate hence, even a small amount of pressure can rupture it. This is nothing to worry about as the hole closes on its own and the sinus lining recovers without any adverse effects.
The rupture only results in symptoms similar to those of sinusitis. Fortunately, these can be cured using home remedies.
What are the symptoms that can occur after a root canal?
There are some symptoms you are likely to experience if you have undergone a root canal recently. Some of them are explained below-
- Pressure on the sinuses
- A feeling of stuffiness inside the nose
- Symptoms that are similar to allergies or common cold including nasal congestion, runny nose, post-nasal drainage.
- A metallic taste in the mouth. This is due to the drainage of the sodium hypochlorite that is being used for disinfecting the root of the tooth during a root canal.
- When drinking water, a feeling that fluid going into the nasal cavity
- When breathing, a feeling of air rushing across the pocket of the tooth
Severe sinus issues indicate deeper issues
In rare cases, the abovementioned symptoms may not cure on their own. This can further complicate the condition. Inexperienced dentists can open a larger hole in the sinus, it might not heal on its own and further require a sinusitis treatment. Here are a few things to consider-
- Root canal failure- Sometimes the root canal therapy can fail and the source of the infection may still be there. The pus continues to build up at the tip of the tooth. The pus can burst through the sinus and drain into the sinuses. Some of the most common symptoms are congested sinuses on one side, runny nose or metallic/’musty’ taste or smell.
- Puncturing of the sinus lining accidentally- The sinus lining can accidentally get punctured during the procedure and can cause headaches and tenderness in the face, along with pressure and pain in the sinuses that don’t cure even after the root canal. Sinus puncture is severe that sinus communication. In sinus puncture, the hole is larger and requires sutures to heal. This requires medical attention.
Some self-care tips for sinuses and teeth
Here are tips that you can try at home to get relief from the sinus symptoms-
- Use a nasal saline solution or neti pot to rinse the nose and sinuses
- Maintain good oral hygiene
- Avoid excess stress on the tooth including chewing on that side of the month
- Eat soft foods such as mashed potatoes, noodles, etc
- Brush gently with soft toothbrush
- Take medicines to handle discomfort
When to see a doctor for a follow-up?
When the large sinus puncture doesn’t heal even after medications and stitches, its time to pay the doctor a visit. The doctor will remove the root of the infection or else other problems will occur.
Moreover, the sinusitis may not be linked to the root canal issue and could be due to other causes such as allergens. Hence, it is better to see a family doctor when you have stuffy or dripping nose or even pain at the back of the throat. You can also visit Pristyn Care clinics to get yourself checked for sinusitis after a root canal.