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Dental Anesthesia

Cold symptons immediately after dental work



Immediately after my dental work(which I take novacaine and nitros oxide) I have experience cold like symptons which last a few days. This has happened after the last 2 visits. When I say immediate, I mean within minutes after the work is done. Do you think this is just coincidence or could it be a allergy to one of the meds I use. The symptons are runny nose, itchy eyes, sneezing. Bad cold symptons without fever. No rash, no swelling.


Your symptoms do sound allergy-like, as in allergic rhinitis as would be found with "hay fever". I imagine it is possible that you are allergic to a component of local anesthetic. This may not be the local anesthetic itself but perhaps the antioxidant added to prevent breakdown of one the products. This is a sulfite and if you are sensitive to this, perhaps that is the cause.

It may be that there are other smells and agents in the dental office environment and you are in fact experiencing an environmental sensitivity to something in the office. The fact that the symptoms do not occur in close proximity to the time of injection makes me less likely to think of the anesthetic and more of an environmental cause. Can this happen during an examination or tooth cleaning visit without local anesthetic? If so, then this would speak more towards this latter possibility. The duration of a few days is confounding as well.

To be sure, I am not at all certain as to this "diagnosis". I suggest further follow-up with your dentist and physician. You may need to consult an allergist if this is really concerning.

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Response by:

Steven I Ganzberg, SB, DMD, MS Steven I Ganzberg, SB, DMD, MS
Formerly, Clinical Professor of Dentistry
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University