You’re experiencing a dull ache in your teeth, and it’s becoming uncomfortable. Naturally, your first thoughts focus on the teeth or gums, and a visit with your dentist. But, there may be another explanation for what you feel as a toothache.
It could involve a sinus infection, especially where the upper rear teeth are involved. They are the closest to your maxillary sinuses.
Toothaches can arise from a number of root causes, including gum disease, cavities, or a dental abscess, among others. Typically, your dentist will rule out these other more common causes before considering whether a sinus condition is to blame for your discomfort.
A Sinus Infection – Sinusitis
The sinuses are a series of cavities in your skull that are generally filled with air, and lined with a mucous membrane. The maxillary sinuses are found right behind your cheekbones. When the membrane becomes infected or inflamed, fluid begins to accumulate, eventually creating pressure against the mouth and teeth. Sinusitis occurs when bacteria from the nasal area infect the sinuses. What you will feel is a dull ache, and often pressure against the teeth.
How can you tell the difference between sinusitis and a toothache from other causes? There are typically a few clues in the form of symptoms in addition to the toothache.
• Stuffy, runny nose;
• Tenderness, redness, or swelling around the cheekbones;
• The pain worsens when you stand up from a lying down position;
• The pain increases when you bend over;
• Your teeth may feel sensitive when you chew;
• The pain worsens when you have an allergic reaction.
Tell your dentist if you are experiencing these or any other symptoms along with tooth pain. You may experience these symptoms without a full blown sinus infection. A bad cold with sinus congestion can feel very similar.
What Can You Do?
While a professional’s help is recommended, there are also steps you can take on your own that can help.
• Keep your mouth hydrated by drinking plenty of water;
• Brush your teeth and rinse your mouth thoroughly at least twice a day;
• Floss once a day;
• Steam can loosen your sinuses – a hot shower or tenting your face over a sink of hot water with a towel for a few minutes can help loosen mucus in the sinuses;
• Spicy foods can also help clear the sinuses;
• Breathe through your nose rather than your mouth, even if your sinuses are making your nasal passages feel stuffy.
If a diagnosis of sinusitis is made, you may require antibiotics, corticosteroid drops or spray, or antihistamines to help clear it up.
If you have any questions about your dental health or dental hygiene, your dentist is the right person to ask. Looking for advice on any area of your dental health to focus on? You’ll find the answer at Dr. Robert Axelrad’s Dental Office in Brampton, ON.
If you’re looking for a well-regarded and highly skilled dentist in the Brampton area, make an appointment with Dr. Robert Axelrad by calling (905)-791-3867. Visit our website to learn more about our dental services.