post-operative INSTRUCTIONS – sinus precautions
It is not unusual for the roots of the upper back teeth to be close to, and sometimes actually into, the maxillary sinus. The maxillary sinus is one of the several normal sinuses which are air chambers within the bones of the face, and open into the nasal cavity.
During removal of the upper posterior tooth, it is possible that a sinus opening can occur in the root area. There are many types of bacteria normally present in the mouth which are not usually present in the sinus. A sinus opening can allow oral bacteria to get into the sinus and could lead to a sinus infection (sinusitis).
Post-operative care, when a sinus opening is present, is aimed at achieving two goals:
1. Avoid an infection.
2. Allow the surgical area and sinus opening to heal.
To avoid an infection, an antibiotic will be prescribed and should be taken as directed until gone. Additionally, it is not unusal to be placed on a decongestant medication to keep the sinus draining properly, which also reduces the chance of infection.
In order to achieve proper healing, several guideline precautions must be followed over the next week to ten days.
1. Avoid blowing the nose; pressure created between the sinus and the mouth during nose blowing can interfere with wound closure and prevent healing. If needed, gently breathing out through the nose and dabbing with a tissue can be used for a runny nose.
2. Avoid using straws.
3. Avoid smoking.
4. Avoid vigorous spitting.
5. Use oral rinses very gently.
6. If it is necessary to sneeze, do so with the mouth open and try not to suppress the sneeze.
Following these instructions, most problems with sinus openings can be avoided and the area should heal uneventfully. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact the doctor any time by calling Oral & Facial Reconstructive Surgeons of Utah SLC Office Phone Number 801-262-7447. This is a 24-hour answering service which can reach the on-call doctor at any time.