Lost sense of smell after double jaw surgery

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wirellll
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Joined: Thu Oct 16, 2014 2:09 pm

Lost sense of smell after double jaw surgery

#1 Post by wirellll »

I had the surgery about a week ago, I'm just a little bit congested now, but I still can't smell anything. My taste maybe a bit diminished, but I feel fine. I'm just wondering if this is just temporary or permanent? I'm going to see my surgeon pretty soon, but I'm kind of worried now.

Thanks!

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katsface
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Re: Lost sense of smell after double jaw surgery

#2 Post by katsface »

My sense of smell has been fine after surgeries, but my sense of taste was greatly diminished due to the antibacterial rinse. It came back about a week after I stopped using the rinse last time.

Are you using a special rinse, or taking narcotic drugs for pain? I wonder if those might be responsible for a lack of sense of smell.
Treatment-
  • Braces: In-Ovation L (lingual) on top, and In-Ovation R (metal) on bottom
  • SARPE
  • BSSO advancement
  • estimated 18-22 months
SARPE
  • Expander installed Jan 14th 2013
  • Surgery Feb 18th 2013
  • Turn 26 days to 13mm. Gap between teeth maxed out at 12-13mm.
  • Gap down to 7mm Apr 18
  • Gap Closed Aug 6
  • Expander out Sep 19
BSSO
  • Insurance approved, surgery scheduled for Dec 18!

sirwired
Posts: 2104
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2008 10:05 am

Re: Lost sense of smell after double jaw surgery

#3 Post by sirwired »

Your sinuses might still be a little clogged from the surgical bleeding. With your surgeon's permission, you maybe could try nasal irrigation and/or Sudafed to help speed things along.

revelvia
Posts: 77
Joined: Sat Mar 13, 2010 4:05 am

Re: Lost sense of smell after double jaw surgery

#4 Post by revelvia »

Yeah, I remember losing mine slightly afterwards as well. I wasn't really aware of it until one day a friend was surprised that I hadn't commented on his overwhelming aftershave and I had no idea he was even wearing any, haha.

At any point, it appears to have come back or I've somehow adjusted to it! It's hard to be able to tell the difference with these things :roll:
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wirellll
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Oct 16, 2014 2:09 pm

Re: Lost sense of smell after double jaw surgery

#5 Post by wirellll »

Thanks a lot for the replies!

I don't feel congested any more (I'm breathing fine through my nose), but I still have a little bloody discharge each day.... my surgeon said he never had any patient permanently lost the sense of smell, so hopefully mine will come back soon!

Btw I did le fort I and BSSO, and I stop taking ibuprofen a few days ago. The antibacterial mouth wash didn't affect my taste too much though. One good thing about not being able to smell much, is that I don't get hungry or cravings when people eat regular food :D

steven
Posts: 25
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2014 4:54 pm

Re: Lost sense of smell after double jaw surgery

#6 Post by steven »

Nice to read wirewall. You recovered from your jaw surgery almost. But still you should take precaution which advised by your doctor. Take care..

wirellll
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Oct 16, 2014 2:09 pm

Re: Lost sense of smell after double jaw surgery

#7 Post by wirellll »

[quote="steven"]Nice to read wirewall. You recovered from your jaw surgery almost. But still you should take precaution which advised by your doctor. Take care..[/quote]

thanks! I think my sense of smell is pretty much back to normal :P

Illogical
Posts: 25
Joined: Sat Sep 09, 2017 1:53 am

Re: Lost sense of smell after double jaw surgery

#8 Post by Illogical »

I'm now nearly 3 weeks after SARPE (upper jaw) and my sense of smell is almost non-existent and taste is also nowhere near what it was.

I'm using mouthwash still but there's no bleeding or bloody mucus and my nose and airways are clear.

My upper cheeks and top lip are still swollen though.

Should I be concerned or can it just take a long time to come back?

Illogical
Posts: 25
Joined: Sat Sep 09, 2017 1:53 am

Re: Lost sense of smell after double jaw surgery

#9 Post by Illogical »

I still cannot taste or smell properly - I stopped using the mouthwash but it didn't make any improvement. Whenever I brush my teeth or smell something strong I get a disgusting taste sensation - sort of bitter, sour and metallic. I can't really describe it well as it's so weird. It's definitely not pleasant. I don't think it's coming from my mouth or teeth, I think it's a sinus thing. I'm assuming it's there all the time but my brain ignores it until I need to smell or taste something and I notice it again - like if you spend 20 minutes in a cowshed, you don't notice the smell any more after 5 minutes.

I've been to the dentist thinking a tooth could be rotting behind the SARPE expander, they found nothing to worry about. I went to the ortho and they also didn't know what it could be. I went to the hospital and asked a surgeon, they had a poke at my scars and flushed out where I had a lower wisdom tooth removed - no infection and nothing to worry about there. They offered no explanation. I went back to the mouthwash for a week hoping it would help, but still no change.

Anyone have any tips? Could I have a hairline crack in my sinus and I'm leaking Cerebrospinal Fluid? Should I try to flush my sinus or ask a doctor to do that?

I still have the SARPE device fitted (sigh) but I doubt it's causing the taste issue. It should be out soon so I've been hoping once it's gone my taste will return...I think that is wishful thinking though.

One positive, I'm losing weight as beer tastes horrible now!

glassjaw1993
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2017 10:50 pm

Re: Lost sense of smell after double jaw surgery

#10 Post by glassjaw1993 »

[quote="Illogical"]I still cannot taste or smell properly - I stopped using the mouthwash but it didn't make any improvement. Whenever I brush my teeth or smell something strong I get a disgusting taste sensation - sort of bitter, sour and metallic. I can't really describe it well as it's so weird. It's definitely not pleasant. I don't think it's coming from my mouth or teeth, I think it's a sinus thing. I'm assuming it's there all the time but my brain ignores it until I need to smell or taste something and I notice it again - like if you spend 20 minutes in a cowshed, you don't notice the smell any more after 5 minutes.

I've been to the dentist thinking a tooth could be rotting behind the SARPE expander, they found nothing to worry about. I went to the ortho and they also didn't know what it could be. I went to the hospital and asked a surgeon, they had a poke at my scars and flushed out where I had a lower wisdom tooth removed - no infection and nothing to worry about there. They offered no explanation. I went back to the mouthwash for a week hoping it would help, but still no change.

Anyone have any tips? Could I have a hairline crack in my sinus and I'm leaking Cerebrospinal Fluid? Should I try to flush my sinus or ask a doctor to do that?

I still have the SARPE device fitted (sigh) but I doubt it's causing the taste issue. It should be out soon so I've been hoping once it's gone my taste will return...I think that is wishful thinking though.

One positive, I'm losing weight as beer tastes horrible now![/quote]

I didn't have surgery yet (scheduled two weeks out from now), but I did recently lose my taste while retaining smell. Turned out to be a zinc deficiency, and my taste returned after taking a zinc supplement and adjusting my diet. It took about 3 weeks. I expect it to happen again after surgery due to an all-liquid diet consisting mainly of meal replacements from Costco.

Illogical
Posts: 25
Joined: Sat Sep 09, 2017 1:53 am

Re: Lost sense of smell after double jaw surgery

#11 Post by Illogical »

Another month on and I have had X-rays and an MRI - but still no signs as to why I would have an altered sense of taste and smell, which has not improved. :yuck:

It turns out during my SARPE they saw a Mucocele which they removed - still they don't think could be the cause. They think it's the mouthwash, which contains Chlorhexidin 0.2%

I also had a cyst on the lower impacted wisdom tooth they removed, but I don't think that could cause the issue.

I've started a course of 15mg Zinc per day for 50 days. No changes after 5 days so far.

karatz22
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2018 12:39 am

Re: Lost sense of smell after double jaw surgery

#12 Post by karatz22 »

Illogical did your taste ever return to normal? I’m one week post op and have had a similar taste experience with coffee. I was thinking maybe it had something to do with the bitter taste. Did you go back to normal after stopping the chlorhexadine rinse?

EmilyTravels
Posts: 478
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2017 6:01 am

Re: Lost sense of smell after double jaw surgery

#13 Post by EmilyTravels »

Interesting that you are taking zinc. Have you heard about people losing their sense of smell after using Zicam (based on zinc) nose spray? Happened to a friend of mine. I believe he finally got his sense of smell back, but it took a long time. I don't think the oral zinc has the same issue, but I would google it if I were you. Best of luck -- that must be really frustrating. :(

Illogical
Posts: 25
Joined: Sat Sep 09, 2017 1:53 am

Re: Lost sense of smell after double jaw surgery

#14 Post by Illogical »

Unfortunately I still have not regained a perfect sense of smell and taste.

Some things do taste how they are supposed to, but others are alien still- the worst being mint, citrus, flowery smells (I used to like Earl Grey tea, but not so much now) and petrol, not that I'm drinking petrol!

I have a feeling it may be getting better, but these things are very hard to quantify...

I've not lost hope, but every time I brush my teeth there's that knock back as it just tastes horrible.

One thing I did do after surgery was use some inhalator with an essential oils mixture, given to me in the hospital. I think I may have overdone it, as I couldn't smell the stuff. Maybe it was too much for my olfactory bulb and I frazzled it. Or maybe it was the Chlorhexadine mouthwash.

Another thing to note is that I frequently had very small amounts of blood, sometimes just like a strand of red fiber, in my mucus when blowing my nose. That persisted frequently until quite recently (in September it will be a year post surgery), but now it's very infrequent. Also even if my sinuses are completely clear, I will get that clicking which I assume is a pressure difference in the system evening out - it seems to come from behind my nose and upper cheek area. Once I'm out of braces, I think I will ask the hospital to assess my sinus system and see if something needs revision. If I need a second SARPE, then I'll have that looked at while they are there.

Another thing I notice constantly is that the muscles of my upper jaw can exert enormous pressure on my jaw/skull - it's a strange sensation and I find myself flexing them very frequently as it's oddly pleasant. I wonder if the flex that I can feel and sometimes hear (like a creaking sound) is flexing the cribriform plate, through which the olfactory nerves run, thus distorting their signals...

Either way, for now I'm just waiting for the braces to be removed and then the possible second surgery. I'll be sure to report back and appreciate any and all input as it's all useful to me and I'm sure to others in a similar situation.

Illogical
Posts: 25
Joined: Sat Sep 09, 2017 1:53 am

Re: Lost sense of smell after double jaw surgery

#15 Post by Illogical »

EmilyTravels wrote:
Thu May 17, 2018 5:16 am
Interesting that you are taking zinc. Have you heard about people losing their sense of smell after using Zicam (based on zinc) nose spray? Happened to a friend of mine. I believe he finally got his sense of smell back, but it took a long time. I don't think the oral zinc has the same issue, but I would google it if I were you. Best of luck -- that must be really frustrating. :(
I did a course of 50 days oral zinc 15mg, but it didn't make any difference as far as I can tell.

I did a Sniffin' Sticks test in January and got about 55% correct - before the surgery I was the sort of person that would avoid the washing detergent and petfood isle of the supermarket as it was just too intense. I had those Sniffin' pens basically up my nostril and was taking really deep sniffs to try to tell what they were - the doctors knew something was wrong as they said they could smell the pen from across the room within seconds of opening the cap...

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