When our tooth hurts, we immediately turn to our dentist to seek dental treatment. But not all cases of toothache need a help from a dentist. In fact, it may not even have anything to do with your teeth — it may be due to a sinus infection.
Can Sinus Infection Cause Toothache?
The answer is yes. A sinus infection or sinusitis can result to a toothache, particularly at the upper rear teeth. To better understand how can this be possible, it is best to know more about sinusitis and its relation to the teeth.
What is Sinusitis?
Sinusitis is an acute infection which is often triggered by allergies or a common cold. Often, it clears up on its own within a short period.
It is characterized by:
- Swelling and inflammation in the sinuses with headaches
- A dull pain that spreads to the regions of the nose, eyes, forehead, and even teeth or jaws
- Discharge from your sinus passages (usually greenish-yellow)
- A persistent cough
- A sore throat from post nasal dip
Our sinuses and teeth are connected to one another. Therefore, a sinus infection can cause tooth pain, and a dental infection may cause sinus inflammation. A sinus infection that is recurring or lasting over eight weeks would be considered a chronic infection that may require medical assistance.
Why does sinusitis cause toothache?
There a close proximity between the maxillary sinus and the teeth particularly the canines, the lateral incisors, and the premolars. The tooth roots are going to come in right in the sinus. At the base of the sinus lies the trigeminal nerve which is responsible for facial sensations and motor functions like biting and chewing. So, if there is an inflammation in that sinus, it can be felt in the teeth despite them being perfectly healthy.
How can you know if your toothache is due to your sinusitis?
There some ways, like bending or tilting your head or walking up and down, for you to check if your pain is due to sinusitis or something else. A worsening tooth pain may mean a result of a sinus infection. However, it is best to check with a medical professional like an ear, nose, and throat doctor for the right diagnosis of the issue.
When deciding if your toothache is from oral-related issues or sinusitis, it’s essential to keep the sinusitis treatments in mind: apple cider vinegar, nasal sprays, antibiotics (in some cases), humidifiers, and decongestants.
It is also wise to set up a visit with your dentist. An X-ray alone can decide if a tooth decay or another problem is going on in your mouth as the source of your pain. It is wise, even if dealing with sinusitis, to check on the standing of your oral health to ensure it is nothing more.
It is also imperative to note, that because our sinuses and teeth are interconnected, an infection in one can trigger an infection in another, especially if the patient is immunocompromised due to age or general health.
One dealing with sinusitis often has fungus or bacteria present in their body that can transfer over to the mouth to increase risks of cavities and other dental problems that could become a danger and expensive to treat.
Likewise, dealing with dental problems can transfer plaque and bacteria through the body and various organs to trigger other bodily infections, including sinusitis.
It is essential that all health problems are tended to through all parts of your body, to reduce the chances of a domino effect of issues.
Disclaimer: The oral health information published on this web page is solely intended for educational purposes. Hawaii Family Dental strongly recommends to always consult licensed dentists or other qualified health care professionals for any questions concerning your oral health.