Because of the close relationship between upper back teeth and the sinus, a communication (or fistula) between the sinus and mouth sometimes results from surgery. This communication, called an oroantral communication (OAC), occurs when there is an abnormal exposure between the oral cavity of the extracted tooth and the sinus, creating an undesired airway in the mouth which can lead to swelling and infection in the nasal passages. If this complication has occurred in your case, healing time is often slow and difficult. However, certain precautions will assist with healing and we ask that you faithfully follow these instructions if you have been diagnosed with a sinus exposure:
- Do not blow your nose for at least four weeks, even though your sinus may feel “stuffy”.
- Take prescriptions as directed.
- Do not forcefully spit for several days.
- Do not smoke for several days.
- Do not use a straw for several days.
- There may be some nasal drainage.
- Try not to sneeze; it will cause undesired sinus pressure. If you must sneeze, keep your mouth open.
- Eat only soft foods for several days, always trying to chew on the opposite side of your mouth.
- Do not rinse vigorously for several days. Gentle salt-water swishes may be used after two days.
Slight bleeding from the nose is not uncommon for several days after surgery.
Please keep our office advised of any changes in your condition, especially if drainage or pain increases. It is important that you keep all future appointments until this complication has resolved.