I find this study to be quite interesting as I have had anesthesia delivered directly in my nose before in an attempt to prevent my constant 24/7 headache.
New evidence has emerged that a common local anesthetic, when administered to the nose as nose drops or a nasal spray, travels through the main nerve in the face and collects in high concentrations in the jaw, teeth, and structures of the mouth.
William H. Frey II and colleagues found that drugs administered to the nose travel along nerves and go directly to the brain, although I really don’t think this finding is novel. One of those nerves is the trigeminal nerve, which brings feelings to the face, nose and mouth. Until now scientists never paid much attention to intranasal drugs passing the nerve in the nose and how it might reach the teeth, gums and other areas of the face and mouth to reduce pain sensations in the face and mouth.
Researchers in this study found that lidocaine or Xylocaine, sprayed into the noses of laboratory rats, quickly traveled down the trigeminal nerve and collected in their teeth, jaws, and mouths at levels 20 times higher than in the blood or brain. This method thus has implications for providing a targeted method for treating trigeminal neuralgia, migraine, dental pain, and nerve damage.
The researches say an improved future location to administer anesthetic is the maxillary sinus. I question if this is truly a good idea as injecting lidocaine or Xylocaine can cause many symptoms and complications. I feel like this may cause some localized inflammation which would lead to dryness and bleeding in the maxillary sinus. The maxillary sinus would thus be implicated more than it needs to in dental procedures. I would be interested in hearing the opinion of an Ear Nose and Throat Doctor on this issue.
I touch on some of the details of the nerves in the head on my website at http://www.teethremoval.com/nerve_damage_in_depth.html. I also show the location of the maxillary sinus which is clearly visible in a dental x-ray at http://www.teethremoval.com/complications.html. I also discuss how I had maxillary sinus surgery on my website as after I had my wisdom teeth removed and developed a severe 24/7 headache I had an MRI done. The only abnormality was found in the maxillary sinus. The details of this are explained more on my homepage.
Source: Neil J. Johnson, Leah R. Hanson, William H. Frey. Trigeminal Pathways Deliver a Low Molecular Weight Drug from the Nose to the Brain and Orofacial Structures. Molecular Pharmaceutics, 2010: 100510131956016