If you suffer from extreme toothache and can’t figure out what is causing it, you may be experiencing a sinus toothache.
This type of pain is caused by sinus pressure brought about by a combination of factors related to the sinuses and teeth, so it’s important to understand what may be going on before seeking treatment.
What Are Sinuses?
Sinuses are hollow, air-filled cavities found in the face and skull bones. These cavities are lined with a thin layer of mucous membrane and have an opening to the nasal cavity.
The four main sinuses are on either side of the nose, behind and between the eyes, the forehead, and the cheekbones.
The functions of the sinuses include moistening, filtering, and warming the air inhaled into the body and providing resonance to speech.
What Causes Sinus Tooth Pain?
Sinus-related tooth pain occurs when the maxillary sinuses become inflamed due to a cold, allergies, or a sinus infection.
There are various reasons you may have an acute sinus infection. Here are some of the primary factors that contribute to sinus inflammation.
Common colds or viruses such as influenza can lead to sinus inflammation. A cold often causes the nasal passages and sinuses to produce excess mucus, which may become trapped in the sinuses, promoting bacterial growth and causing inflammation.
Bacteria can infect the sinus cavity and lead to inflammation. This usually occurs when viral infections, such as the common cold, persist for an extended period precisely because the aforementioned mucus build-up provides an environment conducive to bacterial growth.
Fungi are another common cause of sinus inflammation. Inhaling fungal spores can lead to a fungal sinus infection, especially in individuals with compromised immune systems or those who are susceptible to such infections.
Allergic rhinitis, commonly known as hay fever, can cause sinus inflammation. Exposure to allergens like dust mites, pollen and animal dander causes the immune system to release histamines, which trigger swelling and mucus production in the nasal passages and sinuses.
These non-cancerous growths in the lining of the nasal passages or sinuses can obstruct airflow, causing inflammation. Nasal polyps may result from chronic inflammation due to infections or allergies.
Deviated septum or other anatomical issues in the nasal passages can impede mucus drainage, leading to sinus inflammation. These structural abnormalities may be congenital or the result of an injury.
Exposure to irritants such as air pollution, cigarette smoke, and chemical fumes can cause nasal and sinus inflammation.
These irritants can damage the delicate lining of the respiratory system and make it more vulnerable to infections and inflammation.
Immune system disorders
Conditions that can weaken the immune system, such as HIV/AIDS or immunosuppressant medications, make individuals more susceptible to sinus infections and inflammation.
Fluctuations in hormone levels during pregnancy can lead to swelling in the nasal passages, contributing to sinus inflammation.
Infections in the upper teeth, especially the molars, can spread to the sinuses and cause inflammation. This occurs when the roots of the infected teeth are in close proximity to the sinuses, allowing bacteria to migrate and infect the sinus lining.
Symptoms of Sinus Tooth Pain
Sinus infection tooth pain is felt due to the proximity between the upper teeth and the sinus cavities, allowing sinus infection symptoms to manifest in the form of tooth pain.
Some symptoms you may be experiencing sinus infection tooth pain are:
- toothache felt more acutely in the upper teeth, particularly the premolars and molars.
- intense pain when you lean forward or lie down, as this position increases sinus pressure.
- tooth sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures or biting.
- swelling in the upper half of the face, particularly around the eyes and cheeks.
- nasal congestion, discharge, postnasal drip, and fever
Understanding the connection between a sinus infection and dental pain is essential to differentiate it from other forms of toothache and seek appropriate treatment.
Sinus Tooth Pain Treatment
It has been established that the origin of sinus tooth pain is often chronic maxillary sinus infections or even acute sinusitis, which can lead to severe sinus pain, fever and other uncomfortable conditions. Fortunately, tooth pain caused by chronic sinus infections and chronic sinusitis can be alleviated easily. Some of them are easily available at chemists or even at home.
Here is a list of ways to treat sinus tooth pain.
Over-the-counter pain relievers
Using over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen or aspirin can help alleviate the pain associated with sinus tooth pain. This pharmacological intervention provides relief from the discomfort associated with swollen sinuses and associated dental pain.
Nasal decongestants alleviate sinus tooth pain by shrinking swollen nasal tissues and relieving sinus pressure. They enhance mucus drainage, thus reducing inflammation and easing pain stemming from the connected sinus cavities and tooth roots. Improved airflow aids in overall relief.
Antihistamines can alleviate sinus tooth pain by reducing inflammation in the sinus cavities and lessening congestion and pressure build-up. This eases the nerve irritation surrounding teeth and improves mucus drainage, which helps to alleviate pain and discomfort.
Saline nasal sprays
A saline spray can help alleviate sinus tooth pain by irrigating and clearing the nasal passages, thus reducing the mucus build-up and pressure on the sinus cavities and, in turn, minimising the discomfort caused to the adjacent teeth. Additionally, saline solutions can possess powerful antimicrobial properties that help combat infections, further promoting healing and preventing the exacerbation of pain.
Inhaling steam moistens the nasal passages and sinuses, providing relief from sinus tooth pain. To do this, fill a bowl with hot water and inhale the steam by draping a towel over your head and the bowl, creating a tent-like environment. Alternatively, taking a hot shower and inhaling the warm, moist air can provide similar relief.
Warm and cold compresses
Applying warm compresses to the face, particularly on the cheeks and forehead, can help relieve sinus tooth pain. Cold compresses can also alleviate pain and inflammation around the affected teeth and gums.
Elevating the head while sleeping
Maintaining an elevated head position while sleeping can help prevent mucus build-up in the sinuses, reducing sinus tooth pain. Use extra pillows or a wedge pillow to lift your upper body to achieve this.
Staying hydrated will help thin the mucus in your sinuses, making it easier for the mucus to drain and relieving sinus tooth pain.
If your severe sinus pain fever is due to a bacterial infection or chronic sinusitis that doesn’t respond to other treatments, your healthcare provider may prescribe antibiotics to combat the infection and alleviate sinus tooth pain.
Sinus tooth pain can be a truly debilitating experience, affecting your daily life and overall well-being.
For your comfort, it is crucial to identify, alleviate and treat the cause of sinus tooth pain, even if it requires a medical procedure.
Conquer Sinus Tooth Pain Today! Call Us Now for Immediate Relief!
If you are in Adelaide, you can seek urgent help for sinus tooth pain from one of our highly skilled and experienced emergency dentists.
We can provide the necessary care and treatments, so you achieve relief from your symptoms and guide you towards eliminating the root cause of your sinus toothache.
If you are experiencing persistent or severe tooth pain that seems to have no visible cause of origin, you must seek immediate dental care from an emergency dentist in Adelaide. Our team of competent, highly-rated dentists can provide urgent, effective relief from sinus tooth pain so you are comfortable.
Call us on (08) 7078 8263 now!
Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.
Sinusitis and tooth pain – Mayo Clinic
Sinus Toothache: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments