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Sinus Problems after root canal

I had a root canal done on one of my upper teeth back in December of 2008.  Since that time I have suffered horribly with sinus problems which I have never had before.  Right after I thought I had a sinus infection so went to the doctor and was put on antibiotics.  I felt a little better but still stuffy, and my ears seemed plugged as well.  Since that time I have been to the doctor several times.  They have told me it's allergies (I have never suffered with them before).  I am also aware that allergie can arise at any time in your life and I do live in one of the worst places for seasonal allergies (GA) but this is ridiculous.  I have had steroid shots (helped breiftly) nose sprays, prescription atihisthamines, pepper spary, netti pots, you name it, I've tried it and I still have to go around with my mouth open like a trout just to breathe.  I did go back to the dentist who performed the root canal and he did a panaramic x-ray and said he saw nothing wrong.  I do remember him making the comment when he was doing the procedure that it was going to be a challenge as one of the canals was really deep, or crooked or I had an extra one...I really can't remember exactly what he said but I do know it seemed unusual.  I am DESPARATE at this point,  I am miserable, fatigued, and so tired of having a stuffy nose.  I am a teacher and this has reallt wreaked havoc on the job as I am conatantly blowing my nose or coughing up gobs of green phlegm...I know, GROSS.  I have an appointment tomorrow with and ear, nose and throat specialist but I am really running out of ideas.  Should I just have the tooth extracted or has there already been irrepairable damage done to my sinuses???  HELP  anybody.
36 Responses
Avatar universal
Root canal treatment is probably not contributing your symptomatology. If in doubt, consultation with endodontist is advised. Moreover, food intolerence may be a significant contributing factor to your symptomatology.
Avatar universal
The problem is probably related to the dental work because
either the tooth rootcanal was not successful because the dentist didn't clean all of the nerve our like he said because one root was curved,
or there is an extra pathway of the nerve inside the rootthat he couldn't reach to clean out, and they don't always show up on normal X rays.
OR - as happened to me; the dentist accidently punctured the maxillary sinus cavity when he drilled or cleaned out the nerve with the instruments and it got infected.
I have suffered from this sinus business for many years, and had several instances of dental work causing problems with it. I'm not a dentist, but know from experience including my latest one that dental work can often cause, and aggravate these problems.
I've been through the allergy business, had tests, dieted to avoid dairy foods and all food that aggravates sinus problems for years and years and it makes no difference at all! Have the tooth out! If it has a 'bad root' this will go on forever. Once it's gone you will slowly get better in my experience, but sometimes it triggers problems which become permenant. I've had a number of failed root canal and have suffered years of ill health and agony because of dental work. Most of my teeth are gone now. Have it out. I would be very interested in what your ENT specialist says. Inflammatory sinus disease is my guess. Means you have sinus problems. Am I right? a note would be of interest. good luck. Bigkev 414
Avatar universal
I am thinking I have thiws problem too. I have had sinus issues, temple, head, and neck pains for 15 yrs now. I had know idea what was causing it and how to correct it. I did the tests, allergy shots, meds, steroids shots, spray. eye drops because I had watery constanlty for no reason. I have never been allergic to anything in my life that I knew of at the time. I was starting to just think it was me as a person, I avoided dairy, sodas, ate organics, foods, and did cleanes and iot worked for a week or so but then the symptoms came back. I couldn't study in school and ended dropping out in 10th grade. I am 30 yrs old now and I am still struggling with this horrible issue. It has been to the point where the pain is almost numb to mje than usual. What some would call a 9 out of 10 of the pain meter I consider 4 out of 10. I have become used to the pain that my body does not gage it properly. I looked at where the pain is coming from or where it is centered, then I rememebr when I got my first root-canal, I was 14yrs old. I didnt even realize it, that was the aroun d the time I started to have these problems. I am trying to figure out if I should just remove the 3 root-canals I have to hope it works. This issues has caused me to not excel in life, I cannot focus, study, concetrate or do things in life because of this. Please help me what do I do now, I had this problem for 15yrs that I cna rememebr and I think the root-canals caused it. PLEASE HELP ME GET MY LIFE BACK AND DO AND STUDY WHAT I WANT AND EXCEL IN LIFE! Thank you.
Avatar universal
Sinus problems can definately be caused by a root canal on the upper teeth even if the RC appears to be properly done on the xray.  The dentist could have drilled into the sinus cavity, a small amount of filling material could be outside the bottom of the tooth and the dentist not consider it as a possible cause or in the worst case, the dentist could have used a caustic material, the worst of which is Sargenti Paste which contains 4-6.5% formaldehyde (6-29% is in embalming fluid) and sometimes lead and mercury.  

Ask the dentist what materials were used and specifically ask if any of them contained formaldehyde and if it was a sargenti type formulation.  If it was, run fast.  There are many formulations of sargenti paste along with many names (N2, RC2B, RC2W, sargenti cement).  

If Sargenti Paste was used, I would have the tooth removed by an oral surgeon, NOT a general dentist (especially one who would use sargenti paste on you).  Many dentists will not use this stuff but those who do conceal it from their patients, especially after they are injured.  They know its a malpractice suit in the making.  The FDA has never approved it and actually rejected it for approval in 1993.  The transcript reads like the keystone cops going to the FDA.

When Sargenti Paste is put into the tooth it is done under pressure, allowing small amounts to be dispersed into tissue, nerve and bone.  The formaldehyde fumes can escape the porous structure of the tooth and irritate and/or destroy tissue, nerve, and bone.  Problems can occur immediately after a root canal or even months or years later.  

Proponents have no science to back up their safety claims but, instead, use self-serving testimonials from dentists who use it without any input from the patient...'cause they never told the patient.  

The FDA has NEVER approved/cleared any drug/device with formaldehyde as the active ingredient, which sargenti paste does, and these dentists are getting away with using it on us behind our backs because of the dysfunction of the FDA.  I discovered that our dental industry is lawless.

Ask what they used.  I wish I had known about this stuff in time to mitigate long term damage that it did to my nerves.  Don't want to alarm you, just inform.  You can find more information on the web about it, should they NOT have used it on you.  Not all root canals with it go bad, but, few people want near embalming fluid, lead or mercury permanently sealed within their body.  I sure didn't.

And, then there is the formocresol that has high levels of formaldehyde and that pediatric dentists use on baby teeth!  Small spills of it have caused hospitals and dentist offices to be evacuated and employees sent to the emergency room, and still dentists think it is ok to put in our kid's mouth??  

What I have learned from my path crossing with a Sargenti using dentist blows my mind.  Our dental industry is obviously not as concerned about patient safety as they claim.  It's a lawless industry.

OK, now i feel better.  thanks for listening.  
Avatar universal
Do a Google search on AAE Position Paper on Sargenti Paste.  They are the Am Dental Association's only recognized endodontic specialty board.  They are supposed to set the standard for endodontic care and they are very strongly against this material and have science and international papers about patient cases to back it up.   Your story sounds really suspect.

What kind of pain do you have?  Burning, numbness, muscle ache, etc?  It would be interesting to see xrays closer to the time of that root canal....to see if there is any material outside the bottom of the root canaled teeth.
Avatar universal
Like so many of the others on this forum, I've had terrible sinus headaches after having a root canal done 3 weeks ago.  It started as soon as the Novocaine wore off.  It was almost unbearable for the first 2 days.  It began around my right eye and nose (the root canal was in my upper right side).  Then the sinus headache seemed travel day by day...first above my eyebrows, then down the upper-left side of my face, then behind my left ear and base of my skull on the left side, and finally to my neck and left should blade.

Now that the most severe pain has subsided, I'm left with a constant sinus headache mostly across the bridge of my nose and behind my eyebrows.  This is all new to me, because I've NEVER had sinus issues before...barely even a headache before this.  The timing of this is just too exact to have it be unrelated.

The tooth feels fine.  It's not sore or sensitive.  The Endodontist said there was no infection (on the tooth) that he could see, and said to give it more time....

I'm very nervous that this will be a chronic condition.  I've read about Sargenti Paste being a potential problem.  I am planning on asking about the materials he used.  I just hope I get an honest answer.   But, the last thing I want to do is to have the root canal re-done, or extract the tooth, because the tooth does not hurt.

Has anyone who posted about this problem, ever recovered or know of anyone who recovered over time, without drastic measures?

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