Toothache or Sinus


Toothaches are not fun. No one enjoys toothaches whether they are dull or sharp, sudden or constant. Tooth pain is experienced when the nerve in the tooth is irritated due to some reason. Some of the most common causes of tooth ache are – 

  1. Tooth infection  
  1. Cavity or tooth decay 
  1. Injury or trauma to the teeth or jaw 
  1. Loss of tooth 
  1. Fractured or chipped tooth 
  1. Damaged filling 
  1. Abscessed tooth 

Pain may also occur post an extraction. Generally, a toothache is accompanied by swelling in and around the affected area, low grade fever and or headache. 

However, the origin of toothaches need not necessarily be tooth or gums, the cause of the toothache may be due to – 

  1. Temporomandibular joint pain (TMJ pain) 
  1. Earache  
  1. Sinusitis 
  1. Occasional heart problems 

As we see sometimes sinusitis can also result in a toothache. 

What are sinuses and what is sinusitis? 

Sinuses are air filled spaces that lie behind the cheekbones near our eyes and forehead. Sinuses produce mucus which generally drains into the nasal cavity but sometimes these air-filled sacs can be filled with the fluid and get blocked. They can also get an infection. This sinus infection puts pressure on our teeth causing a toothache. Other symptoms of sinusitis are blockage of the nose and headaches.  

How can we differentiate between a normal toothache and one arising out of sinusitis? 

It is not easy to differentiate between a normal toothache and one that is arising out of a sinus infection. However, there are some minor differences between the two. The toothache caused due to sinus pressure generally cause pain in the upper molars at the back of the mouth. The pain may even extend to the lower jaw but that is rare. 

If the toothache worsens or intensifies due to any movement of the head like bending down or sudden turn of the head there is a chance that the toothache cause is an infection in the sinuses. The pain may less while lying down or sitting. Sinusitis is accompanied with cold like symptoms too like stuffy or runny nose, headaches and even low-grade fever. A sinus infection sometimes interferes with the sense of smell of a person.  

In case of a normal toothache the pain is concentrated around a single tooth but if the ache or pain is arising because of sinusitis then more than one teeth are likely to be impacted. 

You will be surprised to know that not only do sinus infections cause toothaches, toothaches can also cause sinus infections. As many as 40% of chronic sinus infections are due to dental infections. 

What should I do to relieve my toothache? 

To get rid of any problem it is important to find out the cause of it. Now only a professional dentist can find the real reason behind a toothache. So, make sure you visit a dentist to find the actual reason of the toothache. If the dentist rules out any dental issue being the reason behind it, then approach your family doctor. If you cannot go to a dentist or your family doctor immediately and you suspect that your toothache is due to sinusitis you can do the following at home – 

  1. Stay hydrated – Drink lot of water. This will help thin the mucus and give relief. 
  1. Take steam – Inhale hot air/ steam from boiling water to decongest the nasal cavities and release the sinus pressure. You can also try taking hot steam showers. 
  1. Flush your sinuses – Use a Neti pot, nasal irrigation by saline water or nasal sprays to loosen the hardened mucus in the sinuses. Nasal sprays must be used with caution. 
  1. For toothache you can try taking some over the counter pain relievers. 
  1. You can also use hot compress to relieve the toothache and reduce the inflammation. Place the warm compress over the sinus areas which include forehead and sides of the nose and gently press to reduce the pressure. 
  1. Take adequate rest to ease the sinus infection. 

Toothaches due to sinus infections can cause a lot of discomfort but are fairly easy to resolve. Once the sinus infection is treated and cured then the toothache also goes away on its own. The whole problem of sinusitis and toothache because of it should get cleared in a week or two. If, however it persists despite all treatment measures then it is best to contact your family physician. The physician may prescribe anti histamines if the sinusitis is due to an allergy. They can also prescribe antibiotics if the infection is due to bacteria and in some cases steroids in the form of steroid nasal sprays may also be recommended by the doctor. The line of treatment will vary depending on the cause and severity of the infection and will differ from case to case. The above-mentioned symptoms and remedies suggested are not a substitute of treatment from a professionally qualified doctor and must be read in the same spirit.  

We hope you enjoyed reading this blog and will share it with your family and friends. If you have any dental queries, you can always call Ensure Dental Care on 940-274-3229 for more information or to schedule an appointment. Ensure Dental Care offers emergency dental services. Regardless of your issue we offer same day emergency treatments. We entertain walk ins also. 

We are the family dentist near you. Ensure Dental Care is the one of the best family dental clinics at Saginaw Texas. We accept all major insurance providers. We also have in house payment plan. We have a very experienced and professional team of dental practitioners and we look forward to serving you to the best of our abilities. 

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