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Sinus Tooth Pain: Can a Sinus Infection Cause Tooth Pain?

Around 30 million individuals in the U.S are diagnosed with a sinus infection every year. Most of these people are diagnosed with this infection in early fall and early spring. Allergies, particulate or chemical irritation of the sinuses are the major causes of this air cavity infection.

Sinus Cavity Pain

Sinus infection is often associated with tooth pain. Although this infection causes tooth pain, it is not responsible for all toothaches. To determine your tooth pain is due to a sinus infection or a dental problem, you must know more about sinus tooth pain. Below is a discussion on tooth pain caused by a sinus infection.

Understanding The Sinus Cavity Anatomy

To know more about how a sinus infection can cause tooth pain, you must first understand the sinus cavity anatomy. This cavity is made up of maxillary, ethmoid, sphenoid, and frontal sinuses. The frontal sinuses are located near the forehead, slightly above the eyes. The sphenoid sinuses are located behind the eyes. The maxillary and ethmoid sinuses are located on each side of the nose. All these sinuses filter, warm, and moisten the air in the nasal cavity. They also produce mucus which cleans the nose.

If these sinuses become blocked, you are likely to suffer from a sinus infection. This infection will cause congestion and pressure in your sinus cavity. Since the roots of your upper back teeth are near your sinus cavity, these teeth may become painful when you are suffering from this infection.

What’s The Difference Between Tooth Pain and Sinus Pain?

Like many others, you might fail to notice the differences between sinus pain and regular tooth pain. Both of these conditions have similar symptoms, but you will feel pain in the upper molars when suffering from sinus tooth pain. The pain will be spread in several teeth and will intensify or reduce with particular movements. For instance, it will intensify when you jump up or bend over and reduce when you sit or lie down.

On the flip side, tooth pain caused by a dental problem will be focused on one tooth. This pain will not intensify with particular movements. Unlike when suffering from a sinus infection, toothache caused by a dental problem is likely to be accompanied by a dental swelling.

Can a Sinus Infection Cause Tooth Pain?

According to the British Dental Journal, an infection in any of the sinuses can cause tooth pain. Such will happen because gums, teeth, and sinuses share similar nerves. These nerves transmit pain to the brain.

When suffering from a sinus infection, sinus inflammation due to the infection will press on these nerves. These nerves will then send pain signals to your brain. As a result, you will feel pain in your sinuses, gums, and teeth.

Can a Sinus Infection Cause Tooth Pain in Front Teeth?

A sinus infection is less likely to cause pain in your front teeth as the maxillary sinuses are located near the roots of the upper back teeth and not the front teeth. Therefore, when these sinuses become inflamed, they are likely to only make your upper back teeth painful.

Can a Sinus Infection Cause Tooth Pain in Lower Teeth?

You are likely to feel pain in your upper teeth when suffering from a sinus infection. Sometimes this pain can spread to your lower teeth. This transfer of pain is often associated with the modifications of neural networks along the pain routes. 

Can a Sinus Infection Cause Jaw Pain?

Your jaw area can become painful when you are suffering from a sinus infection. Such is likely to happen due to the pressure on your sinus cavity caused by the infection. Spreading the infection to the other areas of your sinus cavity can also cause this pain.

Sinus Toothache Symptoms

There are many various symptoms that may be the result of a sinus toothache, including:

  • Pain in the upper molars
  • Changes in the intensity of the pain when you move
  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or blocked nose
  • Pain behind your cheekbones
  • Pain on both sides of your face
  • Bad tasting nasal drip
  • Inability to taste or smell

Sinusitis Tooth Pain Relief

If you can’t make it to the doctor or dentist right away, you can try relieving your sinusitis tooth pain with these methods:

  • Use a saline solution to rinse your sinuses. Doing this will remove moisture and discharge from your sinuses.
  • Eat foods rich in vitamin C, calcium, and Omega 3 fatty acids.
  • Drink a lot of water and fluids to thin the mucus in your sinuses.
  • When sleeping, switch on a humidifier.
  • Take over-the-counter expectorants and decongestants.
  • Eat spicy foods.
  • When sleeping or resting, keep your head in a tilted position.
  • Brush the painful teeth using a gentle brush and a toothpaste that is made for sensitive teeth.

Talk to Your Doctor About Sinus Pains in Teeth

If you are unsure whether a sinus infection or dental problem causes your toothache, see your doctor. They will ask you about the symptoms to determine the cause of the pain. If a sinus infection causes the pain, the doctor will advise you to take over-the-counter medications. These medications will alleviate the pressure in your sinuses and clear any mucus present.

If you take these medications for some time and notice that your symptoms are not reducing, probably another issue is causing the pain. When this is the case, you will need to visit a dentist to determine the issue. The dentist will perform an x-ray to examine your oral cavity and mouth to determine if the pain is due to tooth decay or abscesses.