A toothache can be a very uncomfortable experience. It’s even worse when the pain turns out to be something other than a toothache, like sinus pain. Sinus pain and pressure from an infection or allergy can cause toothaches that are often mistaken for dental issues. This article will discuss the symptoms of sinus pain as well as how to tell the difference between sinus pain and toothache.
What Causes Toothache-Induced Sinus Pain?
When bacteria or other pathogens cause a toothache, it can spread from the infected area to the sinuses. This will cause inflammation and pain in the area around the eyes, nose, and cheeks. It can also lead to headaches, facial swelling, and difficulty breathing through your nose. If not treated quickly, this condition can become quite severe.
Another cause of sinus pain related to toothaches is impacted wisdom teeth. When wisdom teeth emerge from the gums, they often get stuck in the jawbone or gum tissue due to lack of space. This can cause pressure on surrounding areas, such as your sinuses which can trigger inflammation and pain.
Finally, chronic dental problems such as cavities or abscesses can put pressure on your maxillary sinuses, which are located directly above your upper molars and premolars. This will cause them to swell up, which then leads to persistent facial pain or headache-like symptoms in the area of your cheeks and forehead.
Can a sinus infection cause a toothache?
Yes, a sinus infection (sinusitis) can cause a toothache. In fact, pain in the upper back teeth is a fairly common symptom with sinus conditions.
The sinuses are pairs of empty spaces in your skull connected to the nasal cavity. Small hairs called cilia line the sinuses. Cilia hairs help move air, mucus, and bacteria or viruses through for filtration.
The sinuses allow a route for air to flow and warm the air that enters through the nose.
Sinuses present in the skull include the following:
- Frontal sinuses: These paired sinuses are above the eyebrows in the frontal bone that creates a person’s forehead.
- Sphenoid sinus: The only unpaired sinus in the head, the sphenoid sinus is slightly deeper in the skull, located near the optic nerve and pituitary gland in the brain.
- Ethmoid sinuses: This collection of air cells is in the ethmoid bone between the eyes and at the top of the nose. This bone separates the nasal cavity from the brain.
- Maxillary sinuses: These large, paired sinuses are behind the cheekbones on either side of the nose. They are pyramid-shaped and are the largest sinuses in the head.
Without the sinuses, a person’s head would be heavier. The sinuses also help determine the sound of a person’s voice, as their voice resonates or changes with air vibrations in the sinuses.
If you have sinusitis, the tissues in those spaces become inflamed, often causing pain.
The largest sinuses are a pair above the back teeth of your upper jaw. The roots of the upper teeth are very near or may even extend into the sinus cavity. Consequently, inflammation in the sinuses might cause pain in nearby teeth. Similarly, damage to or infection in a tooth may lead to persistent (chronic) sinusitis.
If you have a toothache, first consult your dentist for an exam. They will look for possible dental causes for toothache, such as gum disease, cavities, or other infections.
If your dentist rules out a dental cause for the toothache, consult your doctor. They will consider whether a sinus condition or another medical problem is causing pain. You can visit Beyond 32 Dental’s clinic near Pennant Hills if you need a reliable dentist.
Symptoms of Sinus Pain
Sinus pain typically causes pressure around the eyes, nose, and forehead. You may also notice tenderness in your cheeks and ears. The discomfort often increases when you move your head or lean forward, but it typically doesn’t worsen when lying down on your back or side. Other symptoms include persistent headaches, fatigue, congestion, postnasal drip, and facial swelling.
How to Tell the Difference Between Sinus Pain and Toothache
The main difference between sinus pain and a toothache is that a toothache usually involves sharp pain when you bite down on food or apply pressure to the affected area with your tongue. On the other hand, sinus pain tends to be more of an ache that comes on slowly and gets worse over time rather than suddenly increasing in intensity with certain movements or activities. To make sure you’re diagnosing yourself correctly, it’s best to speak with your doctor if you suspect either condition is causing discomfort.
How To Treat Toothache-Induced Sinus Pain
The treatment for sinus pain caused by a toothache depends largely on what is causing it in the first place. For example, if an infection causes it, then antibiotics may be prescribed by your doctor or dentist to help clear it up quickly. On the other hand, if it is caused by impacted wisdom teeth, then surgical removal may be necessary to provide relief from the discomfort associated with them pressing against surrounding areas such as your sinuses. Additionally, suppose chronic dental issues are causing pressure on your maxillary sinuses. In that case, regular dental check-ups may be required in order to ensure that any cavities or abscesses are treated promptly before they become serious enough to cause further complications such as facial swelling or difficulty breathing through one’s nose.
While both conditions can cause similar symptoms, such as headache and facial tenderness, there are key differences between them that will help you identify what’s causing your discomfort. Suppose you are experiencing any kind of chronic facial pain or tenderness. In that case, it’s best to consult a doctor as soon as possible to get an accurate diagnosis so that appropriate treatment can begin immediately.
Parents should pay special attention if their children complain about these types of pains in order to prevent further complications such as infection or inflammation from occurring. With a proper diagnosis and treatment plan in place, facial pain can be managed easily for improved overall health and well-being for patients of all ages!