Tooth Pain and Sinus Infections: Are They Linked?
Just about no matter where you live, springtime is beautiful. There’s new life everywhere you turn, and all sorts of plants and flowers are coming into bloom. This is especially true here in the Largo/Clearwater area of sunny Florida.
Unfortunately, all that growth has a huge downside for many Floridians: seasonal allergies and sinus issues. When the world explodes with color and new growth, it explodes with pollen and other allergens, too. And seasonal allergies can be far worse than just a runny nose. They can develop into serious sinus pressure and even sinus infections.
Why does any of this matter for us at Largo Endodontics? Because there’s a close relationship between the sinuses and the teeth, given how close they are in the anatomy.
We also see these issues crop up in our patients, who are sometimes unsure about the root cause of their tooth pain or sinus infection.
To help clarify what’s going on here, we’ve produced this short blog post on the connections between tooth pain and sinus issues.
Understanding Dental Pain
Pain is often a strange thing. Some forms of pain are extremely direct: you burn your hand on the stove, and it hurts exactly where you burned it. Sometimes the cause of the pain is obvious, too (again, like when you burn your hand on the stove).
But other forms of pain can be inconsistent and even confusing. Many of us have experienced seemingly random abdominal or chest pain from time to time that doesn’t seem tied to any particular trigger, nor can we say precisely what body part or organ is hurting. And that’s to say nothing of chronic pain conditions.
Sinus pain and dental pain are often more like the latter: inconsistent and not always particularly clear. Yes, there are times where the pain is direct and the source is obvious, such as when you feel a tooth break. But many times, the connection isn’t so clear. Some patients even experience mild dental pain that has no apparent source and that may diminish on its own over time.
The Connection Between Sinus Issues and Dental Pain
To further complicate matters, there’s a close connection between your sinuses and your teeth. Your maxillary sinuses and the back of your teeth are extremely close, and it’s not uncommon for there to be some overlap or interchange between these systems.
Tooth Pain from a Sinus Infection
It’s not uncommon for dentists to see a patient complaining of a toothache when there’s nothing at all wrong with the tooth. The patient is simply dealing with an acute sinus infection, and tooth pain is one of the symptoms the patient is experiencing.
This kind of scenario is pretty much good news all around. Deal with the sinus infection and the tooth pain will vanish. Still, the tooth pain can be intense enough that patients are completely convinced something is wrong with their tooth. Like we said above, dental pain can be inconsistent and confusing.
On the other side of the equation is a far worse possibility. Just like a toothache can be a symptom of a sinus infection, an undiagnosed dental infection can also cause sinus pain and even develop into a sinus infection.
Tooth Infection Causing a Sinus Infection
When a tooth infection causes sinus pain or even develops into a sinus infection, treating the sinus issues won’t solve the problem. You may manage to clear the sinus infection temporarily. But until the tooth infection is dealt with, the sinus issues are likely to just keep coming back.
Taking antibiotics for a sinus infection may even knock back the infection in the tooth. But without further endodontic treatment, you won’t fully heal the tooth, and the infection will gradually return.
Maybe It’s Not Just Allergies
Some folks regularly struggle with allergies, sinus infections, and even perhaps intermittent tooth pain. If your struggles don’t seem particularly seasonal or you have recurring sinus problems along with tooth pain, the wisest course of action is to visit an endodontist to make sure your issues aren’t resulting from a tooth infection.
You may still need to visit an ENT to deal with a serious sinus issue. But you want to make sure you’ve resolved any underlying cause, like an undiagnosed tooth infection.
Largo Endodontics Can Resolve Your Tooth Infection
Are you on the fence about whether your sinus infection or sinus pain may be connected to a tooth infection? Largo Endodontics is here to help. Dr. Rillman, along with our expert team, will complete a thorough examination of your teeth and gums and develop a clear plan of action if you’re dealing with tooth pain resulting from a tooth infection.
Got questions? Reach out today!
Medical Article Resource:
Diagnosing odontogenic sinusitis: An international multidisciplinary consensus statement – Craig – – International Forum of Allergy & Rhinology – Wiley Online Library