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Here’s Why You Have a Runny Nose After a Dental Implant

Recently a patient asked, “Why did I get a runny nose after my dental implant?

When you have an implant right in the front, the central incisor, lateral incisor teeth, those four teeth in the front, they’re close to the base of your nose.

So, sometimes after having a dental implant in the front, you could feel stuffy after having that procedure, or your nose may feel a little runny for a few days. It happens almost instantly after the procedure, and it’s almost always temporary.

Taking Sudafed or just letting it run its course is typically the way to go if you feel like you’ve been stuffy afterward. You don’t want to blow your nose hard after a procedure, just blot it.

For details about why this happens and what to do if it becomes problematic, watch the video below.

Why Do I Get a Runny Nose After a Dental Implant?

Video transcript lightly edited for easier readability.

Hello, Dr. Ramsey Amin, talking today about a little bit of a different topic. A patient had asked me a question about a situation where they had a runny nose or stuffy nose after having a dental implant. And that’s actually not that unusual, I just don’t think I’ve ever written or talked about that at all.

When you have an implant right in the front, the central incisor, the lateral incisor teeth, those four teeth in the front, they’re close to the base of your nose. The distance from the base of the nose to the roots is very small. It could be even five millimeters or so before you get to the inside of the nose, we call it the nasal fossa. Sometimes after having a dental implant in the front, you could feel stuffy afterward, or feel a little runny for a few days.

It happens almost instantly after the procedure and is almost always temporary. I’ve never had one that’s ever become permanent. Sometimes it’s just from the oxygen that was given to you. If you’ve had it under sedation, had some supplemental oxygen given to you throughout the procedure, it does dry out the nose a bit.

There is a nerve that goes right down the center behind your teeth called the nasopalatine nerve, and it can be irritated a little bit, it almost like a tickle. And there are nerve endings that come from your nose into your mouth and from your mouth into your nose. And of course, you go through those little tiny branches of nerve endings that make things a little bit altered for a few days. So sometimes people will say, “oh, I feel stuffy, or I feel like I have a runny nose.” Or they feel they’re getting sick after the procedure when they’re actually not.

Taking Sudafed or just letting it run its course is typically the way to go if you’re feeling stuffy afterward. You don’t want to blow your nose hard after a procedure, just blot it. It is something that does not last too long.

Keep in mind that the sinus cavities are different than the nasal cavities. They are interconnected, but in the front of the mouth where the nasal cavity is, it’s very much separate from the other end.

Of course, if you’ve had an implant that’s put in too deep and into the nose, well then that can cause problems where the lining, the mucosa of the nose becomes irritated. Maybe, in that case, the implant has to be removed or the top of it has to be cut off.

We try not to engage the nose all the time. Sometimes on patients that don’t have a lot of bone, I’ll actually do what’s called a nasal lift. Lift up the inside of the nose, add bone in between the nasal floor and the top of the implant just to get a little bit of a taller implant. But most of the time it’s not needed.

It’s not uncommon to purposely place the implant to just grab the tip of the nose floor, because it actually makes the implant stronger. It’s something that’s been done for many years, at least 20+ years, for sure. I’ve done it for that long myself. But if you do have a stuffy nose, keep in mind, it will go away.

Most likely, you’re on an antibiotic if you’ve had a really deeply placed implant, but just let it run its course. If you want, some Sudafed, Mucinex, Claritin, or there are other options. But in general, it’s not something to be overly concerned about and it should just go away on its own.

If your runny or stuffy nose is problematic, contact your dentist or leave a question or comment here. I hope this has been helpful for anyone who may be worried about this a little bit.

All right, take care. Thanks for watching the video. 

To see more videos like this, please subscribe to my YouTube channel.

 

3 thoughts on “Here’s Why You Have a Runny Nose After a Dental Implant

  1. I had two implants done a few years ago right under the nose where th incisors are. Ever since then I have had a runny nose but also a very sore gum right behind the two front teeth, sometimes it is very sore others times it is just annoying, it is not a ache like pain it is as if it had been rubbed with sandpaper. The implant surgeon did some scans and said the implants were fine and there was no infection and no problems with the implants, in fact they have been fine and solid. I had a second opnion from another implant surgeon, and he too could find or see any problems. I also went to an oral surgeon and and ENT specialist and neither found any problem around the mouth area or sinuses etc. It is now four years since these implants were done and the gum is more sore than ever and nasal discharge all the time. I went to an Implant Forum on the internet and someone suggested that maybe the surgeon damaged or compressed a nerve around the implant area whilst drilling or setting the implant. It is also much more sore when I feel stressed or nervous or anxious. I would be interested to know your thoughts on this, is the nerve thing a possibility? The oral surgeon suggested removal of the implants as been the only way to assess what the problem was, obviously this would be very expensive and quite traumatic. Thanks, Michael.

    1. That is a very odd scenario that you have. It sounds like you have had multiple opinions and things seem okay. There is a nerve that naturally runs between those teeth but it generally does not cause any problems. In fact you can drill right into it with no issues. Often times I remove it during a full arch procedure for full mouth upper dental implants. I think removing the implants would be a rash decision. My guess is something in your nasal mucosa is irritated. Some people have nonallergic rhinitis. The gum behind the 2 front teeth may be sore from having a nasopalatine duct cyst. If you have had a 3D scan I am sure somebody would have seen that already. Let me know how it works out~stay safe during COVID 19

  2. It’s good to know that getting a runny nose after a dental implant procedure only usually happens when the implant is for an incisor. I will be getting an implant for my molar soon after I had it extracted due to tooth decay. Hopefully, I won’t be experiencing runny nose after undergoing the procedure.

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Dr. Ramsey Amin has extensive experience in surgical and restorative implant dentistry. As one of only less than 400 Diplomates of the American Board of Oral Implantology/ Implant Dentistry (ABOI/ID) he is considered an expert, and board-certified in dental implants. He is a former instructor at the UCLA School of Dentistry.