Can Teeth Infections Cause Sinusitis?

When you have a stuffy or runny nose, allergies, and common colds aren’t necessarily the cause. Inflamed sinuses, known as sinusitis, can also cause these symptoms to occur. Sinusitis can also result in other unpleasant symptoms, such as facial pressure and pain. When certain sinuses in your face are inflamed, you might also experience pain or pressure in your upper teeth.

Although sinus problems can cause tooth pain, it’s also possible for tooth problems to cause sinus inflammation. In this case, having bad teeth could end up causing sinus symptoms, particularly in the maxillary sinuses. Root canals or other endodontic procedures might be needed to help treat the affected teeth. Find out more about how and why you might get maxillary sinusitis from upper teeth infections and what to do about it.


What Is Maxillary Sinusitis?

Maxillary sinusitis refers to inflammation in the sinuses located on either side of your nose. Your face has other sinuses, including frontal sinuses between your eyebrows and ethmoid sinuses between your eyes. When your maxillary sinuses become inflamed, this can result in a stuffy or runny nose, facial pressure and pain around your nose, and upper tooth pain or pressure.

Your sinuses produce mucus to help flush out viruses, bacteria, or allergens in your nasal passages. When they’re inflamed, this can create blockages that stop mucus from being able to drain. This leads to a runny or stuffy nose with thick mucus and other symptoms. Depending on the underlying cause, you can develop chronic sinusitis that lasts for several weeks or recurrent sinusitis that keeps coming back. Finding the underlying cause is important in order to treat this inflammation and ease symptoms.


Dental Pain and Sinus Problems

You might associate sinus problems with colds and other viruses or even bacteria. While these pathogens can cause sinus problems, your teeth might also be involved. Your maxillary sinuses and upper teeth, especially in the back of your mouth, are close together. This closeness means that having sinus trouble can cause dental pain and vice versa. A bad tooth infection or abscess can lead to sinus irritation. How do you know which is which? Learning more about the connections between dental pain and sinus infections can help.


Sinus Infections Can Cause Tooth Pain

When you have inflamed maxillary sinuses, this can easily cause tooth pain. As your sinuses become thicker, this makes it harder for mucus to drain out of your nasal passages. This can lead to irritation in your sinuses and the surrounding area, including your upper back teeth. You might experience pressure or pain in the affected teeth as long as sinus inflammation lasts. Depending on how severe sinusitis is, the pain and pressure in your teeth might be a dull ache or a throbbing pain.

In this case, treating sinusitis should ease tooth pain and pressure. This might involve taking over-the-counter medicines and waiting for the infection to clear up if a virus is causing it. Bacterial sinus infections typically need antibiotics to get rid of the infection. Once it’s gone, the affected teeth should feel better.


Tooth Problems Can Cause Sinus Infections

What happens if you treat a sinus infection, but symptoms keep coming back? If tooth infections are causing sinusitis, treating sinus inflammation will only give you short-term relief. When your teeth are the underlying cause, you’ll need to have tooth infections treated to stop sinus problems from returning.

Keep in mind that if your doctor prescribes antibiotics for sinusitis, this might help clear up a tooth infection temporarily. However, it won’t be fully gone until you have the affected tooth evaluated and treated. You might need a root canal or other endodontic procedure to eliminate infected tissue inside your tooth. Otherwise, tooth infections will come back and trigger sinus inflammation again.


When to Seek Help

If you’ve had sinus inflammation treated and tooth pain and other symptoms come back, you should seek endodontic care. An endodontist can check the affected teeth and determine what kind of treatment is needed to get rid of infections. Effective endodontic treatment can ease tooth pain and should stop recurring or chronic sinusitis.


Treatments for Upper Teeth Infections

The right type of treatment depends on how severe of an infection you have and how much of your tooth is affected. Root canals and other endodontic procedures can help you save infected teeth unless the damage is too severe. In this case, you might need a tooth extraction. Endodontic procedures involve removing all of the infected pulp or tissue from inside your tooth to fully heal infections.

If you’ve been having dental pain with or without sinus problems, it’s time to seek help. Contact Largo Endodontics to set up an appointment. Dr. Rillman, our endodontist, can evaluate the affected teeth to determine the best course of treatment.