Sinus Infection and Tooth Pain: What You Need to Know

When most people experience a toothache, they assume that a cavity or other dental issue is the cause of their discomfort. In reality, however, a toothache could be caused by a number of other things, including a sinus infection. Knowing that there is a connection between sinus infections and toothache can help patients address the issue more quickly, and find relief from their discomfort. The following information is provided by the team at Great Lakes Dental, where we believe that patient education is a vital part of our dental practice.

What are Sinus Cavities and Why do They Become Infected?

Sinus cavities are hollow areas in the skull. There are four interconnected sinus cavities within the face, sitting behind the nose, eyes and cheek bones. The purpose of these cavities is to take the air that is breathed into the body, warm and moisten that air, and provide a level of filtration before the air is taken into the lungs. A thin layer of mucus helps those functions. However, when a person is exposed to certain environmental irritants or becomes ill with a cold, these sinus cavities can become infected. Swelling takes place, and mucus levels rise because proper drainage is impacted.

Why do Sinus Infections Cause Toothache?

The sinus cavities that are located along the sides of the nose are called maxillary sinuses. They extend back, and sit very close to the roots of your upper molars. When these sinuses become infected, swelling places pressure on the upper molars, which can cause what feels like a toothache. Sometimes that discomfort extends to the adjacent teeth and the jawbone itself, and can seem exactly like a toothache that is caused by a cavity or other dental issue.

How to Relieve Toothache Pain Caused by Sinus Infection

The most effective way to reduce pain associated with a sinus infection is to address the infection itself, which means, a trip to see your physician. Some people find relief from using steam, whether from a hot shower or a facial steamer. An over the counter expectorant can also help reduce sinus pain. The most important thing is to address the discomfort instead of ignoring the issue.

At Great Lakes Dental, we understand the wide range of dental issues that bring patients into our office. We are here to help, and are available by phone to answer any questions or address and concerns that you may have. Call us today, and we look forward to scheduling your next dentist appointment!