Toothaches are down there with hangnails and doing your taxes when it comes to favorite things to experience. A toothache can also be a bit scary if you’re not sure what’s causing the pain. If you’re also in the midst of a sinus infection, the toothache can be part of your illness. Here’s a look at why that is.
Pain in the upper teeth, especially the rear teeth that are close to the sinuses, are a fairly common symptom of sinus conditions. When you have a sinus infection, your maxillary sinuses, which are just inside your cheekbones, the mucus lining swells, blocking the nasal passages. The bacteria inside your maxillary sinuses continue to multiply, causing pressure build-up over the upper jaw bones.
The roots of your upper teeth may be very close to the floor of the maxillary sinus cavity, or even extend into the sinus cavity. When the built-up pressure inside the sinus pushes down on the floor, your teeth nerves are affected, resulting in a sinus toothache, even though there may not be any problem with your teeth.
The most common causes swelling or inflammation of the sinuses that cause a sinus infection toothache are:
- a common cold
- allergic reactions to pollen
- pollutants and tissue irritants
- obstruction in the nasal passage or sinus polyps
- respiratory infections
The only treatment for a sinus infection toothache is to treat the sinus infection. When the fluids are drained out of the maxillary sinuses, the pain in your teeth should subside without any further treatment.
If you have a persistent toothache that you may think is not related to sinus pressure, it’s important to make an appointment right away to see the dentist to rule out any dental causes of the toothache, such as gum disease, cavities or abscesses. If there are no dental causes for the toothache, then your doctor will be able to tell you if a sinus infection is contributing to the toothache.