The roots of the top back teeth (premolars and molars) lie just beneath the maxillary sinus. As we age, our sinuses grow and push against the roots of our upper back teeth. An inflamed maxillary sinus exerts pressure on the nerves that enter the roots of the upper teeth resulting in a toothache. This toothache is often confused with other causes of tooth pain like gum disease, tooth decay, or an impacted wisdom tooth. Every winter, allergy sufferers find themselves in dismay with a stuffy nose and a vague pain all over their head and cheek. Many a times, this is accompanied by a persistent toothache of the upper teeth. What does sinusitis have to do with your teeth? Are they related? Yes they are and a sinus infection can bring along with it, a nagging tooth ache. How do you know if the pain you’re feeling is from a sinus infection or a tooth that needs attention? What kind of pain occurs in sinus toothache? These toothaches are intense, continuous, and in the upper back teeth. Sometimes the toothache will be on one side and sometimes it may be on both. It is also possible for the toothache to jump to the lower teeth, causing what is known as a referred pain. What can be done if you have a sinus toothache? Tooth pain related to sinusitis will often diminish or disappear within a few days as the sinusitis is treated. If the pain persists, the cause could be related to the tooth itself. Persistent tooth ache may indicate the presence of other factors such as:
- Gum disease
- Bruxism, or tooth grinding
- Dental decay
- Dental abscesses
What is the treatment of a sinus toothache? Any kind of discomfort should not be ignored. There are chances that the toothache is not related to the sinus infection which is why a dental consult should be sought. The dental surgeon will investigate to determine the cause of the pain. A clinical examination, patient’s history and radiographs would be taken to look for the source of pain. If a dental issue is not found, the pain is attributed to the inflamed sinus for which treatment for the sinusitis would be advised. The physician would prescribe antihistamines, decongestants or/and antibiotics, nasal sprays to treat the inflammation and provide relief from the sinusitis and sinus toothache. Sinusitis induced toothache is a relatively common complaint for patients who develop a sinus infection due to a cold or other reasons. Accurate diagnosis is important for the effective treatment of the sinus toothache and the underlying infection that is causing it.