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February 1996

Severe Facial Edema Following Root Canal Treatment

Author Affiliations

Department of Dermatology University of Bologna Via Massarenti 1 1-40138 Bologna, Italy


Arch Dermatol. 1996;132(2):231-233. doi:10.1001/archderm.1996.03890260135024

Sodium hypochlorite has been routinely used in endodontic therapy since 1920 for root canal débridment and sterilization. This procedure is associated with very few complications.

We report two cases of severe soft-tissue injury following the use of sodium hypochlorite in endodontic treatment.

Report of Cases.Case 1.  Severe pain, profuse oral hemorrhage, and mild facial edema of the left eye, cheek, and lip suddenly developed in a 49-year-old woman while she was undergoing endodontic treatment for deep caries of her left maxillary first premolar (Figure 1. Swelling and ecchymosis on the left side of her face had progressively developed in the following 24 hours. The patient had not experienced breathing difficulties but complained that she could not eat. Treatment with intramuscular prednisolone (50/ mg/d) and analgesics was started. After 1 week, the edema had almost completely disappeared, and her face only evidenced hemosiderosis (Figure 2). It took 1 month for the contour and color of the tissue to return to normal.

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