Can injections of filler done through the mouth (rather than the skin) cause problems?

I am a 60 year old male who is in good physical condition. 15 Months ago I had a filler (either Radiesse or Restylane) injected into the upper cheek area to help reduce hollowness that was starting to be visible. A well known plastic surgeon in my area did the injections. The injections were done on the inside of the mouth. I questioned the technique but was told that the risk was minimal and she did injections inside the mouth frequently because it provided a better result.. After the filler was injected inside the mouth, I developed lumps under my left cheek and went back to have the doctor look at it. I was told to massage it and it would get better. It did dissolve after a week or so. The bigger issue is that I developed allergic asthma several months later I have been to allergists, pulmonary specialists, ENT doctors who tell me I have developed allergic asthma. Is it possible the injection of the filler inside the mouth versus external on the cheeks could have triggered my condition? Thank-You ( I edited this post some for length - Dr. I)


Whether though this event triggered your allergic asthma at age 60 is almost impossible to know, I’m so sorry to say.   Sometimes it really just does develop at odd times in life.

However,  I do know this……that most international experts in aesthetic dermatology do NOT recommend injecting fillers through the mouth because the mouth is absolutely full of bacteria and we are trying to PREVENT bacterial contamination of fillers when we inject them.   This is why excellent office clean the skin and then sterilize the skin as much as possible with alcohol and/or Hibiclens several times right  before and during injections.

The risk of infections and biofilms is low, if clean procedures are followed.   Injecting through the mouth greatly increases the possibility of bacterial contamination.

One thought is to ask to get an MRI of the area if you haven’t already had one.   An MRI would be the best way to show if there is a subtle, occult infection like a biofilm present in the area.   You may need to consult an infectious disease specialist and have them do some research on biofilms associated with filler injections.  These can be diffiult to eradicate, if they are present.

Hope this helps,  Dr. I

Dr. Brandith Irwin, MD

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