Sinus infection and dental pain

Could my Dental Pain be Caused by a Sinus Infection?

Sinus infection symptoms actually do include toothaches or dental pain. This type of pain is called referred tooth pain. In humans, upper teeth and jaw structures are directly adjacent to sinus cavities. When sinus cavities become inflamed, they can exert enough pressure on these adjacent structures to cause dental pain.

Most often sinus-related toothaches are caused by inflammation in the maxillary sinuses, located inside each cheekbone above the upper jaws. A sinus infection causes the mucus linings of the sinus cavities to swell, which blocks the nasal passages. Mucus and bacteria then become trapped inside the sinuses and they continue to increase there, eventually causing enough pressure to affect nearby dental structures. The roots of the upper molar teeth are sometimes too close to the floor of the sinus cavity, and in some cases the roots actually extend into the sinus cavities. The excess pressure from the inflamed sinus cavities can affect the nerves in the upper molar teeth, resulting in dental pain.

Even dentists sometimes have difficulty determining if dental pain is stemming from an actual problem with an individual’s teeth or if the root cause of their pain is actually a sinus issue. If you are having dental pain in your upper molar (rear) teeth and you have other symptoms such as sinus pressure, headache, postnasal drip, a stuffy or runny nose, fever, a clear nasal discharge or a yellow or green nasal discharge in particular, you could have a sinus infection. If you suspect you do have a sinus infection, you should see a physician.

If your doctor makes that diagnosis, he or she will prescribe antibiotics to clear up the infection. In addition, drinking plenty of water while you are recuperating will help moisten and lubricate irritated sinus tissues as well as avoiding irritants like smoke from tobacco products. Running a humidifier while you sleep is helpful as well as getting plenty of rest, especially if you have a fever.

FirstCare Medical Center is available to diagnose and treat sinus
and all respiratory infections.