Tooth pain can cause irritation and reduce the enjoyment of your favorite dinner at Erio’s Ristorante. When a patient is experiencing tooth pain, there is usually an obvious dental reason, but there are cases wherein ruling out sinusitis as the source is an excellent first step in treatment.
Approximately 28.9 million U.S. adults were diagnosed with sinusitis in 2018. Symptoms of sinusitis can include runny or congested nose, sore throat, facial pain and pressure, cough and tooth pain. Let’s examine how sinusitis may be causing your tooth pain and what you can do to manage it.
Sinusitis and Toothache
There are a pair of sinus cavities above the back teeth of your upper jaw. Because the roots of the upper back teeth extend into the sinus cavity, it is common that inflammation in the sinuses can lead to tooth pain. For the same reason, pain or an infection in the upper back teeth can result in chronic sinusitis.
A study on sinusitis as a source of tooth pain found that sinusitis is a frequent enough cause that it is appropriate for dentists to “rule out sinusitis as a source of the problem before proceeding with definitive dental treatment.”
A dentist or ear, nose and throat doctor (ENT) will likely conduct a physical examination and use symptoms to rule out sinusitis as the source of dental pain. A sinus infection-induced toothache may present symptoms including but not limited to:
- Dull pain in the primarily upper teeth
- Low fever
- Pain from movement
- Runny or congested nose
- Feeling of fullness in the ear
- Sore throat
Tooth pain from a dental rather than sinus source will likely be sharp, localized and accompanied by swelling. Because tooth pain can be a sign of a more serious dental issue, it is wise to see a dentist immediately if it becomes sharp and localized. If your tooth pain is accompanied by congestion or a cough, consider making an appointment with an ENT to rule out or treat your sinusitis.
Once you have established that sinusitis is causing your tooth pain, you can employ some home treatment methods to manage your symptoms.
Home Treatments for Sinusitis
Chronic sinusitis may require ENT specialist treatment through medication or surgery, but minor infections can be managed at home. Common home treatments for sinusitis include nasal irrigation with a saline solution, topical decongestants, warm compresses and plenty of rest and fluids.
If sinusitis is the cause, tooth pain should diminish as you treat your infection. If the dental pain remains, immediately make an appointment with a dentist to look for another source.
For more information on managing your sinusitis, contact Midwest ENT Centre to make an appointment with one of our specialists today.