What’s going on when, after having your wisdom teeth removed, you’re suddenly sneezing – and a lot?

Is this just a coincidence on the timeline or is there something about the extraction of wisdom teeth that causes sneezing?

“I have never heard that being a side-effect,” says Dr. Haissam Dahan, DMD, MSc, PhD, lecturer at Harvard and McGill University and owner of Ottawa TMJ & Sleep Apnea Clinic.

Dr. Dahan adds, “And I cannot see any way there would be a correlation between the two.”

Sneezing results when something inside your nose irritates the mucus membrane.

The reflex reaction by your body is to expel the irritant – and a sneeze results.

Removal of wisdom teeth would not cause irritants to get into the nose. These irritants include dust, pollen and dander.

Perhaps you just got a bunch of pollen up your nose soon after your wisdom teeth were extracted.

Or were you by chance around a cat that you’re allergic to? How about a bouquet of flowers or some other offending agent that usually makes you sneeze?

Dried mucus in the nose can also trigger sneezing. So can fragrances and powders.

If the sneezing does not let up, don’t be tempted to blame a recent removal of your wisdom teeth.

Instead, take a closer look at the environment you’re in. Has anything changed?

Things could make you sneeze that you’d never even think of.

  • Bright sunlight — including that which comes through a window
  • Exercise
  • Scented candles
  • Your vacuum cleaner, which, when turned on, can kick out a lot of dust and other airborne gunk that’s been inside the bag
  • Drafty window letting in pollen
  • Stuffed animals (home to dust mites)
  • Bath mats (home to dust mites)
  • Dirty furnace filter; when the furnace is turned on after having not been used for a while, a lot of accumulated dust and dander can blow into the room.

If the sneezing persists, it’s best that you see your primary care physician and not the doctor who removed your wisdom teeth.

Dr. Dahan is a general dentist with a focus on TMJ disorder, facial pain, snoring and sleep apnea management.