Sinusitis and Tooth Pain: What’s the Connection?

Is there a connection between sinusitis and tooth pain? Many people are surprised to learn that the answer can be, yes! If you have tooth pain, you may automatically assume that it’s some fault of yours: too much sugar,sinusitis_and_tooth_pain or you’re not brushing and/or flossing enough. However, this isn’t always the case; sometimes tooth pain is actually caused by sinus issues.

Understanding the Link Between Inflamed Sinuses and Tooth Pain

Every human has a total of seven sinuses, none of which can impact oral health…except one: the maxillary sinus. Throughout your life, you may experience congestion and pressure in your maxillary sinus. Often, this congestion proves nothing more than an inconvenience. However, for some people, (especially as you get older), your enlarged sinuses can allow enough congestion to buildup to actually affect the roots of your teeth. This is when sinusitis and tooth pain become linked. You may actually find that whenever your sinuses flare up, you experience a wide range of discomfort in your mouth – sometimes even with crowns and dentures.

Your Dentist Will Evaluate Your Mouth for a Connection Between Sinusitis and Tooth Pain

If you are concerned that your sinusitis and tooth pain are linked, consult with your dentist. He or she will examine you and look for several telltale indicators of a correlation between inflamed sinuses and oral discomfort. These indicators can include:

  • No visible signs of decay in oral x-rays
  • Close proximity of maxillary sinus to roots of teeth
  • The presence of several teeth hurting at once instead of localized discomfort
  • Sudden tooth temperature sensitivity

Treating Sinusitis and Tooth Pain

Once your dentist has identified that your sinusitis and tooth pain are connected, it’s important to move forward with a treatment plan. Many people don’t realize that left untreated, chronic sinus infections can have a significant impact on your teeth over time. Your dentist will recommend you make an appointment with your healthcare provider to manage any sinus symptoms that may range from nasal drops and allergy medication, to antibiotics and sometimes even steroids for the inflammation depending on the severity of your case. Treating your sinuses will hopefully eliminate the tooth pain as well.

However, if you continue to experience sinusitis and tooth pain, your doctor may refer you to an oral surgeon for evaluation. For chronic, recurring sinusitis where the teeth around the maxillary sinus are affected, some people may be a candidate for endoscopic sinus surgery that can restore normal drainage. The surgery is minimally invasive and recovery is fast. Most importantly, if your oral surgeon has identified a direct link between sinusitis and tooth pain in your case, you should experience fewer sinus infections in the future.

If you are experiencing chronic sinusitis and tooth pain that isn’t responding to conventional treatments for sinus infection, contact Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah for a free consultation.