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Dental Bites: Can my sinuses cause my teeth to hurt?

Dental Bites: Can my sinuses cause my teeth to hurt?

Dental Bites: Can my sinuses cause my teeth to hurt?

Both a sinus infection and sinus inflammation (known as sinusitis), can lead to a toothache. Sinusitis occurs when the tissue lining the sinuses becomes inflamed and swollen.  Tooth pain is a common symptom of sinusitis. It can be caused by sinus pressure and by drainage from sinus infections. The pain is usually felt in the upper rear teeth that are closest to the sinuses.  Sometimes, this is what’s known as referred pain, the discomfort can be felt in your lower teeth as well.

The sinuses are four pairs of air-filled spaces found in the facial bones near your eyes, forehead, and behind your cheekbones. They warm, moisten, and filter the air in your nasal cavity. Sinuses also produce mucus, which drains into the nasal cavity and cleans the nose. When these air-filled areas become blocked by fluid, infection is possible.

The congestion and pressure that accompany a sinus infection can cause discomfort or pain in your upper teeth. This is because the roots of your upper teeth and jawbone are near your sinuses. 

Many symptoms of a regular toothache are similar to those of a sinus toothache. However, sinus tooth pain is primarily felt in the upper molars, affecting several teeth instead of only one.  Pain from a sinus toothache will intensify with certain types of movement. Jumping up or bending over may make the pain worse. This is because the sinus pressure shifts as you move and is felt more in your teeth. The pain may subside when you’re sitting or lying down.

Often sinusitis begins as a regular viral cold and turns into a superimposed bacterial infection. Other primary causes include allergies, bacterial or fungal infections, and changes in temperature or air pressure. Chemical irritants, asthma, and low immunity also increase the risk for having sinusitis.

Your dentist can determine whether your discomfort is being caused by sinus, periodontal disease, cavities, or dental abscesses. Grinding your teeth could also be a cause.  If you are experiencing any type of dental discomfort, you should visit your dentist for an evaluation.

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