Sinus Precautions

Please refer to the following instructions if you have been directed to “Follow Sinus Precautions” after your surgery.

In some cases, the upper wisdom teeth and molars are closely associated with the maxillary sinuses. The maxillary sinuses are airspaces within the upper jaw. The teeth or roots may be very close to, or even extending into, this airspace. When these teeth are removed, this can cause sinus congestion for up to a week. In unusual cases a sinus infection or a persistent opening can develop. A persistent opening is called an oral antral fistula.

In order to help ensure rapid, complete healing, please follow these instructions for 7-10 days or until your surgeon instructs you otherwise. This will minimize any chance of unfavourable healing.

  • DO NOT blow your nose at all for the first 7-10 days or until instructed that it is safe to do so. Wipe your nose as needed, BUT DO NOT BLOW.
  • DO NOT smoke or use a straw in the first 7 days following surgery. These activities cause negative pressure in the mouth that may contribute to an opening of the socket into the sinus (oral antral fistula).
  • DO use a nasal decongestant if recommended by your oral surgeon. Sudafed (pseudoephedrine), Dimetapp, or another decongestant can be used regularly for the first 7 days to promote proper sinus drainage. An antihistamine is not necessary. If you are using a combination product, check with a pharmacist for any potential interaction with other medications you have been prescribed.
  • DO rinse your mouth gently 3 – 4 times daily with salt water (one teaspoon of salt mixed with a glass of lukewarm water). If you notice fluid going into your sinus or nose, stop rinsing and contact the office for further instructions.
  • DO sneeze, if you have to, but do so with your mouth open. This will help prevent pressure build-up within the sinuses. Be considerate and cover your mouth, but do not try to be polite and hold back the sneeze.
  • DO elevate your head with several pillows while sleeping. This is usually more comfortable for the first 4-7 days.
  • DO take other medications as may be prescribed by your surgeon.
  • DO keep your follow up appointment(s) as requested.