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Dental Anesthesia

Sneezing/Runny Nose After Fillings and Veneer

11/13/2009

Question:

I`m a 42-year-old very healthy woman with no known allergies. Today I had two small cavities filled in the bottoms of my upper left back molars, as well as my two front teeth prepared for veneers, with temporaries put on for now. I received nitrous throughout and several anesthetic injections at the beginning. The injections were primarily on the left upper side of my mouth, with some above my teeth and some in the soft palate behind my teeth. I have only had one other filling in my life, about 14 years ago, and have not had nitrous at the dentist`s since I was a teenager.

It took about 5 hours for all of the numbness to subside, and I have had constant sneezing, runny nose and sore nasal passages since then. I had no cold/flu symptoms before this dental work. Could my cold-like symptoms be caused by either the anesthetic or the nitrous? The whole procedure took almost 2 hours so I understand that my nasal passage soreness could be due to breathing solely out of my nose for that entire time.

Answer:

Thank you for your question. This is probably not due to the nitrous oxide.

There are a couple of possibilities: One is that if local anesthetic may have been given close to the nasal cavity which can cause irritation and these symptoms. This should be gone within 24 hours.

There is also the possibility that anesthesia in a special area on the palate (greater palatine foramen) was given which could also cause these symptoms. Again, they should be relatively short lived.

If not, then this is possibly just the start of an upper respiratory illness and coincidental to the dental treatment. Hope you are feeling better. But if symptoms persist, see your dentist of physician.

For more information:

Go to the Dental Anesthesia health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Steven I Ganzberg, SB, DMD, MS Steven I Ganzberg, SB, DMD, MS
Formerly, Clinical Professor of Dentistry
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University