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Dentistry/Nose/Sinus problems as a result of dental work?


TracyWoo wrote at 2009-01-27 17:01:00
I had the exact same symptoms after an injection of novocaine in my upper gum just before crown prep.  I immediately began sneezing and had sinus drainage, just like a sinus infection.  I had no cold or infection prior to the dental visit.  While looking for an explanation on the internet, I found a response from a dentist who believed that it was possible that swelling from the injection sight, because of its close proximinty to the sinus cavity could cause these symptoms.

Sue wrote at 2009-02-14 22:39:26
I have the same thing happening to me right now. I went into my dentist a filling fixed and was injected with local anesthetic as usual. Never had any problems with it in the past. I experienced the tenderness and irritation on my nose as well as the feeling of severe dryness. my nose also started draining uncontrollably for a few days. It felt very irritated and it still does. I was wondering how long it lasted for you. So far i'm on my 6th day. I'm going into my dentist next week and If I find out anything I will post it back on here.

Sinus Sufferer wrote at 2010-01-05 01:51:03
I too also have problems every time I have work done on the upper teeth.  My sinus become so infected I tried to deal with but each time I have to get an antibotic from my doctor.  I have a friend who has them same thing and doctor also gives her an antibotic.  My doctor told me I am bad sinus sufferer and for now on I have to be on antibotics before I have work done.  So maximize the work if you can because you can't constantly be on antibotics

Cat wrote at 2010-12-15 22:29:51
Same situation.  I was looking to see if anyone else had experienced similar symptoms and found this information.  I had dental work yesterday and I am experiencing the irritation and nasal draining.  

Tabitha wrote at 2011-11-06 08:51:22
I do not think it is completely independent of the injection. I just had a tooth fixed and went in with no sinus problems whatsoever and now immediately after the injection, I started having the sensation to sneeze and have had drainage only on the side of my nose where the injection was and it has persisted now for about 48 hours since.  

MaryB wrote at 2013-08-09 21:12:13
10 years ago, I had work done on my  front teeth and was giving

the novacaine injection, which I had novocaine times before.

Upon leaving the dental office, my nose was running like a sink with water on. I called office when I arrived at home, thnking that maybe the injection had hit close to my sinuses.

The dentitst told me I had to go to an allergist before he would complete my work. The allergist found nothing except dust mites that I would be allergic too. He said maybe the dentist should try a different caine  injection. Which he did and that worked.  But I had to list that as an allergy for all

my medical surgeries and they found that odd. Once I removed it

I had no problems.  I've had at least 8 surgeries on my body.

But today I had oral surgery done and decided that I would no longer say I had caine allergies. Guess what?  I now have a runny nose for the last 5 hours and sneezing.  I will have to find out what they used and go back to being allergic to some

caine injections!

Ms. L Norman wrote at 2013-11-22 02:05:16
Hello, I am in the same situation, and I cant find an answer either. Id like to add and share my story with you. Today I had a visit to my new dentist in Buckhead and she numbed the top of my gums for deep cleaning and as she did so I felt a burning sensation go from inside my nose up to and into my right eye. I immediately started to sneeze and my right eye started watering. I asked what did she hit. She stated that when she pulled the needle out that their was a little blood on the tip of it and that this happens every blue moon. I asked we'll is this a problem? She said no. Its been 6 hours now and I am sneezing constantly with water dripping out of my eyes like tears. My nose is running and I have a headache. Now very worried of what she may have really hit going in.  

Rits wrote at 2014-01-31 15:48:08
Same situation with me, got me worried. I had my front tooth extracted. When I went in I was fine, no sinus issue, I was given the injection to numb my gums etc. the right side of my gums and nose and lips were numb and I had to wait 10 minutes before she began the procedure, as I waiting I felt as if my right side nose was running because it was numb I had to check each time but I developed the sniffles on that side. After the procedure it got worse, I am on day 2 and still sneezing, runny nose and it's slightly swollen on the right side (nose), I also can't move the muscle of the nose on the right as I can on the left and I am just worried that this won't get better.

SMS45 wrote at 2014-02-19 21:10:37
Yesterday I had two cavities in front teeth filled.  The cavities were close to the gum line.  My dentist numbed the area.  When the numbness wore off, I had a tickling sensation in my right nostril that made me want to sneeze.  Eventually I did sneeze and sneeze and sneeze.  My nose started running like a faucet.  I called my dentist this morning and he told me that the numbing injection had to be very close to ganglion that contained nerves controlling tear ducts and nasal mucosal tissue.  It wasn't an allergic reaction, but inflammation (very slight)exerting pressure on nerves.  It should go away in a few days, and a decongestant would help the symptoms.  Hope my experience helps you.

digress wrote at 2014-03-12 14:22:49
I have had this happen a few times.  I was at the dentist on Monday to have a permanent crown installed - no novocain.  I feel like they tip me too far back in the chair and water, etc. starts to drain into my sinuses when I swallow.  It is really bad this time.  I have had two bad nights of sleep since because there is so much dripping from my nose.  I called the dentist to ask for a note in my file stating I shouldn't be tipped so far back.  I didn't realize a nerve could be involved.  Interesting....

JSP wrote at 2014-06-20 05:07:08
This happened to me today while finishing my crowns. Never happened before during injection but this time, one of the shots felt like it went straight up to my nose. Must have hit the wrong nerve or something. Now i'm constantly sneezing and have a running nose and there's a constant itch inside the right side of my nose. Hope it gets better soon

joyce wrote at 2014-10-11 14:54:41
my nose started to run as he injected me. so far 3 days of sneezing and nose blowing. my nose hurts as well as my eyes

Alan wrote at 2015-02-10 00:52:11
Very interesting thread. About one month ago I had a root canal on an upper right molar. As the dentist was injecting novacaine I had the most intense burning sensation in my upper cheek. Within a week I had sinus issues with the most god awful smell in my nose. After 2 attempts at antibiotics went to an ent. Told me there was a lot crust and scabbing in that area.

Becky wrote at 2015-02-11 13:13:31
I went to the dentist yesterday for the 2nd half of a deep cleaning.  Had no issues last week.  This time, the novocaine burned in my cheek and nose as it was injected.  During the cleaning we had to stop several times so I could sneeze.  Once I left, I started to blow my nose,and it hasn't stopped yet.  There has been constant drainage down my throat (yuck) and I have a horrible runny nose and watery eye on my left side.  I have had novocaine countless times without this kind of reaction before.  I hope it goes away soon!

Sneezy wrote at 2015-02-24 05:15:34
Had dental treatment today and I'm having the same symptoms.  I've been sneezing for hours and my left sinus (side I had worked on) is running like a faucet. I've never reacted to the anesthetic before.

FYI:  Novocain is not used in the dental field

They use lidocaine, carbocaine, mepivocaine  

Milla wrote at 2015-03-05 02:09:04
Went in for upper tooth cavity repair, as dentist was injecting --caine numbing solution, I felt a sharp tinge to the tip of my nose. After the procedure I felt nose draining and the strange urge to sneeze... now 3 days later, still nose draining and sneezing ~ 10x/day or less... very annoying but interesting that others had similar experience

Xts wrote at 2015-03-13 11:26:42
I had a few cavities worked on with my upper front teeth. The injection was right in the middle of my upper lip where it meets the gums. I can feel a tiny bump there with my tongue now that I can feel again. It's been 14 hours since the procedure and ever since the numbness began to wear off I have felt burning inside my nose (against the middle of my nose where it meets the other side) and I have nasal drip. Have only gone through two tissues so far but it's annoying and burns. I think it is irritation of a nerve. This has never happened before with injections there. Same dentist office. One other time I had tingling for 2 weeks in my chin from injections. I feel for you all!  

lydia wrote at 2015-07-29 22:01:24
same here.went for deep cleaning on right hand side,afterwards my nose hurts inside at the top of it.also sneezing and dripping eye running also.please some1 who this has happened long before i go to dentist or doctor?

Toothless wrote at 2015-08-01 09:31:01
On April 24th I had 7 top teeth removed to prepare for dentures. I still don't have the dentures because I have not healed properly. I've been on 2 rounds of antibiotics and I am still having to take pain pills. The missing front teeth still feel like they are there and my nose is still numb and tingles constantly. The sneezing and dripping is driving me crazy. I was supposed to go back to be fitted for dentures on June 24th but my gums are still so swollen and painful that it would just be a wasted trip. I have to carry tissues with me all of the time! When will this stop? I desperately want teeth!

KamQ wrote at 2015-08-02 05:20:07
I am so glad it isn't just me!  Had a filling in tooth #3 today and the novocaine injection made me feel like I needed to sneeze when I got it.  It's 9 hours later and my right nostril is running and I have been sneezing repeatedly.  It's annoying!

KamQ wrote at 2015-08-02 05:20:07
I am so glad it isn't just me!  Had a filling in tooth #3 today and the novocaine injection made me feel like I needed to sneeze when I got it.  It's 9 hours later and my right nostril is running and I have been sneezing repeatedly.  It's annoying!

Debbie wrote at 2015-08-28 13:29:55
Had this happen to me as well.  I had a small filling replaced on the tooth next to my front teeth.  When the dentist injected the area, it felt like the needle was in my nose.  I still have pain from the injection 4 days later.

As the injection wore off, my nostril starting dripping like water, nonstop.  I thought I had a cold at first, benedryl was the only thing that helped. I talked with my dr who suggested I use the prescription nasal allergy spray I had.  Either the spray worked, or the sinus irritation went away.

Debbs wrote at 2015-09-10 19:03:51
It seems that many of you are having the same problem!  When I first got the shot in my front upper gum, I was very shaky and dizzy.  The worst part hit me quite suddenly, just about the time I was leaving the dentist's office which was 2 hours later.  It got so bad that I was completely incapacitated by the time I got home.  I have been MISERABLE with horrible pain on one side of my nose and face, constant sneezing, and unbelievable sinus drainage. What is going on?  Are dentists aware that this is happening to their patients?  

suzy-Q wrote at 2015-09-12 02:42:32
I just had work done putting a crown into place with NO novocaine or other injection, and a day later my nose is running like a faucet, I'm sneezing a lot, and my nose feels very bruised when I touch it just below the bridge. So novocaine may not be the only problem, I'm thinking.

sherry-lynn wrote at 2015-10-09 13:44:05
I am so grateful to all of you for writing these comments as i was wondering what was going on, went to the dentist yesterday and i thought he had injected right through the nose, it blocked my nasal passages and drained like mad, at least now that i have seen the comments i know it is not that unusual and i don't need to worry.

DMcB wrote at 2015-10-29 21:43:10
Same here.  As soon as the numbness started to wear off I started sneezing and now my nose (right side only) is running like mad and my right eye is tearing up.  I feel just like I'm having a seasonal allergy attack.  It's been 8 hours now and still no relief. Ughhh  

gigi wrote at 2015-11-06 20:17:35
OMG  I can't believe how many people have the same thing.  I didn't think it was totally related to my gum surgery.  Went to talk to my dentist about it and she doesn't think has anything to do with it...  Go figure....  How long did this last?  is so annoying!

Heidi B wrote at 2015-11-12 00:19:29
I had a injection at the end of having my middle two and another 2 to my left filled. Gave me a bunch of numbing meds but they were worn off by the time he got to the 4th tooth. So he gave me another shot but this time through the back of my teeth in the palate. I immediately felt burning and swelling all the way up to my eyes which started watering. He immediately said he must have hit the nerve which sits just beside the nostril. My nose is still totally dead but the mouth is not and my left eye is watering. For the person with the numb chin I had that too with a root's called the mental nerve and I had a numb chin until I finally had the tooth pulled. But at least this dentist owned up. I sure can't have my nose pulled, but Thank god no sneezing yet. He even told me the name of the nerve which I can't remember so all of your dentists saying they had nothing to do with it I think they are hosing you. Good luck to all.

Amy D wrote at 2015-11-12 02:47:10
Had the 2nd part of my deep cleaning done today as I see many of you have had. I just wanted to add that not only novacaine has this effect. I had lidocaine today and as the numbness went away the sinus issue began.

Just wondering if we all had shots into our palettes to cause this.

I feel like I have been run over by a bus!

Good luck to you all and in hope you feel better soon!  

Kim wrote at 2015-11-12 18:07:05
Thank goodness I came across this. I had dental work yesterday on my front right side and now and continuous tickle with sneezing! I have tried blowing whatever is up there out. Now I know I can stop. Haha!

deniser wrote at 2016-01-26 22:36:13
I just went to the dentist today to have a crown on my upper teeth replaced.  I have had the same problem as all of you.  My sinus is sore and keeps watering.  While at the dentist, I had a sneezing fit that would not stop.  I was worried they were going to have to discontinue the procedure.  Now, after 5 hours, the numbness has worn off, but my nose is running like a faucet.  Is this the result of some new numbing agent being used?  What the heck? Hope this ends without antibiotics.

Mike wrote at 2016-02-09 05:21:06
Same issue here. Just went to the dentist today for three fillings and I got shot four times with a local anesthetic. After one shot in the upper right side of my mouth, I felt a strong burning sensation in my cheek up to my right eye. After this I had a constant tickle in my nose. 10 hours later and my nose is still running and I have a box of tissues with me at all times. My right eye is constantly tearing up as well. I've tried allergy medication but nothing seems to work. Really hope this goes away soon and very upset with my dentist. They should know where they are shooting the anesthetic before they stick a needle in your mouth.  

PENNY wrote at 2016-02-12 19:38:10

mrsu wrote at 2016-02-16 03:16:50
I am sorry, but the answer to the question about sneezing and runny noses being an ENT problem is bogus. I went in today to have a root canal done - and with my bad teeth - it's been a process I've endured many times throughout my life. Today, however, I walked out after the work was done and started sneezing. I am still experiencing sneezing, watery eyes, runny nose. I was fine before I walked in...but have complete cold-symptoms an hour later. There is a causal link, and maybe your profession needs to poke around to find out what it is.  

mrsu wrote at 2016-02-16 03:19:11
Ditto to all above. I read the expert dentist's response, and I'm sorry - it's bogus. It's the equivalent of sending people home with a prescription for aspirin rather than give the questions and concerns a good look and a little investigation. We're not trying to lay blame...we just want to know what to do to stop the sneezing. Dang...

Angie wrote at 2016-02-21 18:12:23
I only get this if Iím given an injection at the top front of my mouth. I donít sneeze; I just get very inflamed sinuses with a lot of pain. My face is very painful even if I touch it very gently. It can make me feel unwell for up to 10 days. My daughter suffers the same thing. One dentist I had used to get an injection in for me that was without one of the ingredients that the normal one had. It was not as strong as the normal injection and took longer to wear off but I wouldnít feel ill for a week.  

Jeanne Zupfer wrote at 2016-03-09 00:56:56
I had my dental crown prep work done Feb 1, 2016. My nose has not stopped running (March 8, 2016). My dentist has not offered any solutions or explanations for this related problem. The ENT ordered CAT scan for tomorrow to see if there is anything else wrong. Will keep everyone posted. Hope the running nose stops soon.

Courtness wrote at 2016-03-15 12:38:54
I am so relieved to know I am not the only one!  I have had two root canals and crown work down on my front teeth over the course of a month. Every time I have been numbed thru an injection right in my gums below my nose. I have been suffering from severe sinus draining, congestion, sneezing and headache pressure which I can only say feels like a sinus infection for weeks. I would get better, and then when I'd go back for more dental work it would all flare up again. My dilemma has been my sinus symptoms have NOT responded to any treatment or medication I usually use for colds. This is why I came here searching...I knew there had to be a connection. Thank heavens I am finished with my dental work now, hopefully I can get over this soon!!!!

Mail Kimp wrote at 2016-04-06 05:06:26
I'm glad I found so many people who had the same problems after dental work by Googling "novocaine made me sneeze." Got a shot in the top gums and wanted to sneeze immediately, which sucked because he was doing cosmetic work where I really couldn't move. I probably sneezed 300 times on the way home and could barely see through the runny eyes and nose. Took benadryl and that dried it up, but now it's wearing off. I'm seeing most people had symptoms for 2+ days. That sucks.

debl58 wrote at 2016-05-28 11:50:02
5-27-2016  I had oral surgery Front tooth, trying to save a 20 yr old implant.  IV type anesthesia.  Had O2 tube going up the nose.  By the time surgery was done and I was walking into my house, the water works started in my nose.  The sneezy feeling has not subsided as of 12 hours.  I've gone thru nearly a whole box of tissues.  I was grateful to find many others suffered the same fate.  At least I know now it was probably due to the novacain.  I have some nose spray, but its not helping.

Dafney wrote at 2016-07-20 00:11:14
Very encouraged by what I have just read on this forum. Last wednesday my dentist gave me 3 separate injections for a root canal job in the tooth next to my incisor [1st Bicuspid (1st premolar)]. As I recall it, the first 2 injections were near/on the gum, and were fairly painful, the final injection was in the roof of my mouth which was very uncomfortable. After a couple of minutes I suppose the injections had affected affected my right eyelid which I could not feel confident about closing. after the drilling etc., I left the surgery with a totally numb face on the right hand side and could not feel my nose at all on that side which I found rather scary. That was around 6.30pm and later that evening I took paracetomol with ibuprofen for pain relief in anticipation of the injections wearing off, which they had not done fully even by 11pm. I seemed to be waiting and waiting for the injections to fully wear off. It was about 24 hours later when I had the impression that I may have picked up a summer headcold. By the Saturday I was feeling poorly with a very runny nose (clear discharge - would suddenly drain out of my nose) and I thought I must have a fever but did not check my body temperature. I had to keep blowing my nose and got through tons of tissue paper.  All the time my nose is so very irritated inside and streaming, while I have some sort of pressure in my head, like a headache really, but I never normally get headaches. This is now the early hours of wednesday the followimg week.  On the side where my tooth was worked upon I still have a feeling of irritation inside my nose.  I still have to blow my nose. I will tell my dentist about this but have the feeling that he will just act dumb as if its nothing to do with his treatment.  

chelsea wrote at 2016-10-15 02:18:52
I wish sneezing was my only problem. . . when I was injected in gums just under my nose, I felt it in my nose and it began to twitch. In the next week or so I got throbbing pain, and when I touch my nose I get a shooting pain. The shooting pain turned to a dull pain, but a small bump started to appear. Since, that small bump in my gums has turned into a large bump in my gums, and a small bump that can be felt through the bottom of my nose. I'm scared it is only going to get bigger, and it has even begun to hurt when I smile, and make me smile crooked. It has been a month or so. I have had x-rays and they all come back negative. I don't know what to do.

Nan wrote at 2016-11-07 01:39:41
I had a procedure done and after novicane I got a feeling like I was going to sneeze and for the next week I carried Kleenex and sneezed till I felt like my neck was going to break.  My nose was so sore from blowing.  thank God that stopped but I still have a sensitive feeling in my nose when I take a deep breath .  It is 5 - 6 weeks later and I still can't chew on that side as teeth are too sensitive and cold drinks are out of the question.  I feel like pulling the teeth but after readin I am afraid to do more.  

Chris W wrote at 2017-01-10 04:45:17
Same deal here.  Cavities filled in upper front teeth(one on the right and one on the left).  Felt the first injection (right side)of pain killer all the way up into my nose. The second round of injections (left side) were painful, but not as bad.  That was a little after 4 pm.  By 5:30 my nose was running like a a faucet and I was sneezing all of the time.  The right side is worse than the left.  I was perfectly fine before the procedure and have no other symptoms that would indicate a cold.   Not likely that I'm experiencing some sort of hay-fever attack in mid January, so it's pretty obvious that the procedure and the nasal discomfiture are related.  For the dentist who posted the "answer" to the original question to basically dismiss any causality is somewhat insulting to the large number of folks who, based on this thread, are dealing with this.

TBuckie wrote at 2017-01-18 08:37:28
I got dental work on my upper teeth done at 4:30pm yesterday and when I got into my car after the procedure at about 6:00pm, I was sneezing like crazy. It is 3:31am and I can't sleep because my nose is still running like a faucet and the numbness on the right side of my nose is still there. I went into the dentist's office healthy and with no colds or sinus infections or irritation and now I feel lousy and I am sick and tired of sneezing and wiping and blowing my nose. Is there any remedy for this?  

Marie wrote at 2017-01-24 08:14:45
It's 3AM and I left my dentist appt. today after having work done on my two front teeth at 2PM, and I'm up because my nose won't stop running, a tickle in it is causing me to sneeze, and my eye keeps tearing up, all just on my left side. I've had a LOT of dental work done, and never has anything remotely like this has happened to me.  I have a newfound empathy for hay fever sufferers if this is what they experience, this is miserable.  I'm going to stuff a wad of tissue in my left nostril, because I'm making a snot puddle on my pillow.  This has to be some kind of nerve irritation, maybe from inflammation, I pray not from nerve damage.  Makes me nervous about going back to get my crown and bridge work done on the same teeth.  

Arleen H. wrote at 2017-02-17 03:45:52
Went to dentist on Tues. and had to have a filling replaced in my upper front tooth. As soon as the novacaine wore off, my nose began running.  Sneezing is involved periodically and there is some pain in my left nostril. I do not have a cold, so I feel this is related to the novacaine injection.  This had never happened in previous visits.  

Rebecca wrote at 2017-03-03 13:33:56
Well, like others have said...glad I'm not alone here as this obviously isn't all that rare of an occurrence.  I've had a great deal of dental work/surgeries over the years but this "issue" is a first for me. I received upper front palette shots to remove old crowns and fit a temporary bridge on the front four teeth yesterday afternoon/evening and same story as Marie above wrote only it's the right side for me. Sudden sneezing, constant clear drainage from the right nostril, the snot puddle on the pillow (too funny but absolutely true! I'm hoping in just inflammation of the nerves which would be understandable. I'm going to take ibuprofen (anti-inflammatory) and just deal with it for a bit and hope it eventually returns to normal. Now, if I'm still having this issue in three weeks when I go back to get my temporary bridge removed and my permanent bridge affixed, we'll have a problem. Fingers crossed for all of us that the issue resolves itself with just some time...

mdielm01 wrote at 2017-03-08 06:59:03
It's 2 AM and I am up due to severe sinus pressure. I had numbing shots, one in my upper gums and one in the lower, to have a temporary crown put on. I was completely fine (and have been) until I had the procedure today. I just took a tsp of braggs vinegar as it claims to relieve sinus issues. I can already feel some relief of pressure and will continue to take it to see if it helps. It is definitely related to the procedure and nobody could convince me otherwise, as the same thing occurred in the past when I had a root canal done and was fine when I went in.  

Sue James wrote at 2017-03-10 12:35:27
Add me to the above list! Had 6 upper back teeth extractions and bone grafts. Thurs March 9th at 9.15am. My dentist gave me numbing shots in roof of my mouth and as soon as the procedure was over at 11.30 am I had a sneezing fit in the office. They told me not to sneeze through my nose but through my mouth and I could sniff as much as I wanted but not to blow my nose as it could dislodge the bone grafts. Sneezing stopped but as soon as I got home my nose started running uncontrollably. No pain which I guess is something. He gave me pain medications, antibiotics and I'm taking ibuprofen too.Went to bed last night with Kleenex stuffed up both nostrils, just woken up at 6am and as soon as I sat up my nose is running uncontrollably again. Just want to know how long this is going to last! My dentist did phone me a few hours after the extractions and asked if everything was OK as he'd witnessed the sneezing fit in his office. Told him that had stopped but my nose was still running continuously. He said that was somewhat common as back teeth were connected to the sinuses and to phone if I had any problems. Just wish they'd mentioned something before I left the office, at least if I'd known there was a likelihood of this happening I would have handled it better!


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Steven C. Scherr, D.D.S.


Comprehensive Dentistry, TMJ Dysfunction Therapy, and Cosmetic Dentistry. Nineteen years of experience including hospital residency (Sinai Hospital of Baltimore), and training at the Pankey Institute for Advanced Dental Education. Currently in private rehabilitative practice.


I was the Summa Cum Laude graduate of the University of Maryland Dental School in 1981. I served as a General Practice Resident at Sinai Hospital of Baltimore in 1981-82, and have been in private dental practice since that time. My practice is now located in Owings Mills, MD, a suburb of Baltimore. My studies at The L.D. Pankey Institute for Advanced Dental Education in Florida has enriched my practice and my patients. It was there that I learned the true meaning of excellence.

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