What is an oral-antral fistula?
An oral-antral fistula happens rarely and is an opening or communication from your mouth (oral cavity) to your sinus (antrum). If it occurs, your oral surgeon will inform you about it and will give you specific instructions.
It usually occurs along the length of a tooth, i.e. the roots of the tooth are in or close to the sinus, whereas the crown of the tooth is in the mouth. Sometimes with extractions, an opening occurs. Fortunately, most of these openings heal spontaneously, however few of them have to be closed surgically.
For 7 – 10 days following surgery:
- Take the antibiotics as prescribed. This is important!
- Do NOT smoke.
- Do NOT blow your nose.
- Do NOT drink through a straw, and please avoid sucking (for example, a popsicle).
- If you have to sneeze, sneeze with your mouth open into a handkerchief. Do not pinch your nose in order to stifle a sneeze.
- Rinse your mouth gently after each meal and at bedtime with salt water. (1/2 teaspoon of salt in a cup of water).
- It is important to maintain good oral hygiene. Gently clean your teeth and gums.
- Avoid disturbing the area that has been surgically treated. Do not feel this area with your tongue or brush the adjacent teeth or chew food over this area.
- If your nose becomes congested, take ‘over the counter’ nose drops as directed by the manufacturer. These drops will open your nasal passages. Nose drops should not be used for more than 5 days in a row.
- If you wish, you may sleep on two pillows to promote drainage of the sinus.
- It is important that you keep your post-operative appointment as requested by your doctor.
If you have other concerns, please do not hesitate to call our office at 416.766.7616.