Oral surgery can be deceptively hard on the body, with many patients able to walk out of the surgical office just minutes after their procedure. But while localized anesthetic is helpful for masking pain, it can also cause individuals to forget that they have just undergone an operation. Sometimes, however, your body may choose to remind you of its ordeal through surprise nose bleeds, which can be highly distressing if you are not prepared for them. But are nose bleeds a common reaction to oral surgery, or do they indicate a deeper problem that should be reported to your surgeon?
Causes of Nose Bleeds Post-Surgery
There are a number of reasons why patients develop bloody noses after oral surgery. During extractions of the back tooth, removed roots may expose a hole in your mouth leading up to your sinuses, allowing blood, water and air to travel between your nose and mouth. This is the most common cause of nose bleeds after oral surgery. You may also simply have trauma near the site of your nose, either from injections, the surgery itself or overexerting yourself too soon after surgery, while the tissues and vessels around your mouth are still inflamed. Occasionally, improper dental work may also be to blame.
Preventing and Treating Post-Surgical Nose Bleeds
Some bleeding after oral surgery is usually inevitable, but there are steps you can take to reduce your chances of a nose bleed. For the first few days or weeks after your procedure, avoid blowing your nose and try not to sneeze. Doing so could not only pop the stitches in your mouth, but it can also blow weakened vessels in the nose. Once a nose bleed begins, staunch the bleeding as quickly as possible with some cotton swabs or a paper towel. If you are lucky, it will resolve on its own quickly, but if not, you will need to assess the flow rate to determine its severity.
When to Call Your Surgeon
When in doubt, always call your surgeon's office and report your symptoms. Typically, a light trickle of blood is not dangerous, but a heavy flow is evidence that something has gone wrong within your sinuses. Watch for a sense of pressure building under your eye, which could indicate blood pooling in your sinuses, as well as feelings of dizziness. If either of those symptoms occur, or if the bleeding will not stop, contact your surgeon as quickly as possible for advice and to potentially schedule an examination. Complications from oral surgery are usually minor, but if you are worried that something is not right, do not hesitate to seek help immediately. If you're looking for more information about oral surgery, you can go to websites like this one.