What is a Sinus Infection (Sinusitis)?
A sinus infection can create pressure and pain in the mouth and cause a sinus tooth pain. Specifically, this is due to pressure and pain in the maxillary sinuses located behind the cheek bones. Sinus tooth pain is often confused with other causes of tooth pain, including gum disease, tooth decay, or an impacted wisdom tooth.
What Causes Sinus Infections?
A sinus infection occurs when bacteria from the nose enter the sinuses. To help you assess whether you have a sinus tooth pain or a toothache caused by something else, take note of symptoms that occur in addition to pain around the upper teeth, eyes, or cheekbones.
Sinus Infection Symptoms
Any type of sinusitis, including maxillary sinusitis, can be chronic or acute.
Symptoms of acute maxillary sinusitis include:
- Stuffy nose and nasal discharge
- Bad breath
- Pain that is worse when sitting up than when lying down
- Tenderness, redness, or swelling in the cheekbones
Signs of chronic maxillary sinusitis include:
- Persistent sinus toothache
- Pain that seems worse when you have a cold or allergic reaction
Don’t ignore signs of a persistent sinus toothache or tooth pain. Sinus infection when left untreated can lead to more serious infection, so be sure to see a doctor for sinus tooth pain to treat problems before they become severe.
Sinus Infection Side Effects
One of the possible side effects from a sinus infection is that you may start breathing through your mouth. Mouth breathing promotes a dry mouth, and a dry mouth can increase your risk of dental health problems. Saliva in the mouth helps digest food and wash away the bacteria that can cause tooth decay and gingivitis.
If you notice signs of dry mouth after sinus infection tooth pain, try the following:
- Use a fluoride toothpaste and mouth rinse daily.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Try to breathe through your nose as much as possible.
Sinus Infection Tooth Pain
Sinus tooth pain is fairly common, according to dental experts at the Mayo Clinic. Sinus infection tooth pain occurs when the fluid that builds up in the sinus cavities during a sinus infection puts pressure on your upper teeth, which are close to the maxillary sinuses.If you have sinus tooth pain, you may need to see a doctor to manage your sinus condition.
Sinus infection tooth pain might occur suddenly and usually feels like a dull ache, like something pressing down on your teeth. Or you might notice tooth sensitivity when chewing. Sinus infection tooth pain also can occur if you don’t have a full-blown sinus infection. You might notice tooth pain similar to sinus infection tooth pain if you simply have a bad head cold and sinus congestion rather than a full-blown sinus infection.Some conditions that can cause pain in the upper teeth may be confused with sinus tooth pain. Even if you think your tooth pain is related to your sinuses and should be treated by a doctor, see a dentist to rule out dental problems including:
- Tooth Damage: A fractured or decayed tooth near the sinus cavity has similar symptoms to sinus tooth pain.
- Tooth Grinding: Tooth grinding (bruxism) can cause pain similar to sinus tooth pain.
- Gum Disease: The early stages of gum disease can also cause pain similar to sinus tooth pain.
Sinus Tooth Pain Relief
If your sinus tooth pain is caused by sinusitis, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics or antihistamines. If it is caused by bruxism, your dentist may recommend wearing a nighttime mouth guard. Sinus tooth pain caused by tooth damage or tooth decay will need additional dental care, such as filling a cavity.
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Bridget Burris, DDS
1748 South Triviz Drive
Las Cruces, NM 88001