Can Dental Work Cause Swollen Eyelids? - Tooth Extraction

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In today's article, I decided to cover some common causes of eye swelling after dental work. An untreated infection of a dental abscess may cause swelling and pain around your eyes and whole face. Severe dental infections may affect the other parts of the body by some medical conditions such as bacterial meningitis and infective endocarditis.

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Eye Swelling after Dental Work

Intraocular anesthetics are usually used for painless dental treatments but some unlucky people may experience some ocular complications such as meiosis, diplopia, nystagmus, ophthalmoplegia, ptosis, and amaurosis. Most symptoms related to eyes disappear after 48 hours but in rare cases, they have prolonged characteristics and may persist for several days.

Periorbital oedema and subcutaneous emphysema may develop as uncommon complications after dental work. Symptoms may be revealed hours after the procedure when the patient is at home hence the patient may present to a family doctor.

In some cases, people may experience swelling around the face, mouth, cheeks, and even their eyes if your dentist has to do more work on soft tissues in the mouth the chances of swelling and trauma increased.

Periorbital oedema from Dental Procedure

A patient may experience swelling of both eyelids by undergoing extraction of an impacted lower and upper molars after some hours.

If this procedure is done under local anesthesia and your dentist uses a handheld, high-speed, compressed air surgical drill to remove the tooth. During the procedure, you may experience an abnormal sensation such as a bubble moving up on the face or ears.

Periorbital oedema and facial swelling may extend inferiorly to the angle of the jaw and superiorly to the temporal and forehead regions.

The periorbital skin revealed erythematous and this painless hemifacial swelling had underlying crepitus. Despite the swelling, the extraocular movements, and visual acuity remains normal. An intact suture and a blood clot may be revealed at the area of extraction from the inspection of the oral cavity.

Subcutaneous Emphysema from Dental Procedure

Subcutaneous emphysema can occurs as a result of a dental procedure. Subcutaneous emphysema means is the collection of air beneath the subcutaneous tissue. It is commonly seen in facial bone fractures, infection by gas-producing organisms, tracheostomies, and anterior neck dissections.

Subcutaneous emphysema is rare but a popular complication of dental procedures especially the extraction of the third molar. It occurs due to the use of high-speed surgical drills or compressed-air syringes or air-driven surgical instruments.

It has been observed by clinical experiments that the use of these pieces of equipment can push compressed air into the space between tissue especially if there is a break in the mucosa.

This probably becomes a cause of an unusual sensation during the procedure to the patient.

Differential Diagnoses

Differential Diagnoses of hemifacial swelling from periorbital oedema include:
  • An allergic reaction spreads by either the local anesthesia or latex in the dentist's gloves.
  • Angioedema
  • Facial Haematoma
  • Cellulitis
  • Surgical emphysema is secondary to fracture of the facial sinuses.
When pressure is applied to the area the first 4 differentials do not produce the classical crackling sounds or crepitus of subcutaneous emphysema.

Treatment Options for Subcutaneous Emphysema

Treatment depends on the severity and extent of the subcutaneous emphysema. Most of the cases will start resolving automatically after 2 to 3 days but complete resolution takes 7 to 10 days.

11 prophylactic antibiotics should be given to the patient in the case of entering oral bacteria into the air spaces directly or indirectly.

Patients with neck or mediastinal involvement should be admitted for the observation of cardiovascular compromise or respiratory distress.

Surgical decompression should not be done routinely because it is usually done for dangerous space that is emphysema10. it is unlikely to be effective and may even promote the spread of emphysema.

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