Sinus infections, also called sinusitis, are a widespread occurrence. A National Health Interview Survey found that up to 14.7% of individuals surveyed reported having sinusitis in the preceding year. Symptoms of sinus infections may include runny nose, facial pain and pressure and even tooth pain.
Let’s examine the relationship between tooth pain and sinusitis and how you can identify the right treatment path.
How Can a Sinus Infection Cause Tooth Pain?
Pain in your teeth from sinus infections is usually located in the upper back teeth. This is because the upper back teeth and gums are located just below the sinuses and share nerves with the sinus system. The shared nerve works both ways. If you have damage to or an infection in your upper back teeth, you may feel pain or inflammation in your sinuses.
Identifying a Sinus Infection-Induced Toothache
Symptoms of a sinus infection-induced toothache may include:
- Pain in the primarily upper teeth
- Pain in several teeth
- Dull rather than sharp pain
- Low fever
- Pain from movement
- Stuffy or runny nose
- Ear fullness
- Sore throat
Symptoms of a toothache not induced by a sinus infection include:
- Sharp rather than dull pain
- Pain localized in one area or tooth
Finding the source of your toothache is most easily done by identifying which symptoms you are experiencing. For instance, if your tooth pain is sharp, localized and causing swelling in the mouth or gums, it is likely not caused by a sinus infection and should receive immediate dental attention. Often, there is an obvious dental reason for the pain. If not, your dentist may want to rule out a sinus infection first.
If your tooth pain is located in the upper back teeth and accompanied by congestion, inflammation of the sinuses or a feeling of fullness in the ears, your dentist will likely advise you to see an ear, nose and throat specialist for sinusitis.
Home Treatment Options for Sinus Infection-Induced Tooth Pain
Tooth pain and sinusitis can stop you from thoroughly enjoying a walk in Centre Square Park or a pastry from your favorite local baker. Luckily, tooth pain from a sinus infection usually goes away when the sinus infection is managed. Some home treatment options include:
- Nasal irrigation
- Warm compresses
- Rest and fluids
Any combination of these treatment remedies can help mitigate your sinusitis symptoms, including tooth pain. If the tooth pain does not go away with the infection, it is likely a dental issue and should be treated immediately.
Contact Pinnacle ENT today to speak to one of our ear, nose and throat specialists about managing your sinus infections.