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Sinus Pain or Tooth Pain? How to Tell

by Williams, Daily & Frazier on Dec 14, 2021 4:15:00 AM

Nasal inflammation in the sinuses is usually caused from allergic reactions. Indicators are watery eyes, a running nose, itchy nose and eyes, consistent sneezing, and dark circles starting to form under the eyes.

Once the nasal cavity is inflamed, this can lead to sinus infection or sinusitis, which frequently occurs because of these conditions. Some symptoms of sinusitis are loss of smell or taste, pain in the teeth, sore throat, sinus headaches and pressure, bad breath, and fatigue. There are two types of sinusitis: acute, which is short-term, and chronic, which lasts for weeks at a time.

How Does This Affect Your Teeth?

Sinus infections add pressure to the sinuses, which creates swollen and inflamed nasal passages. The swelling creates pressure on the teeth under the nasal passage. In most cases, the pain is in the upper back teeth. Depending on the congestion you experience, you may also have referred pain, where the feeling starts spreading to the lower part of your teeth.

How Does Sinusitis Cause Tooth Pain?

Most cases of sinusitis are a result of an upper respiratory infection. With the nasal passages inflamed, the added pressure and drainage from the sinuses cause tooth pain. A sinus infection can also be the culprit for a toothache.

It is important to note that a regular toothache will be the only pain focused directly on the teeth. A sinus toothache intensifies depending on movement. For instance, if you bend over or jump up and down, the pain is heightened because the sinus pressure is felt more in the teeth. Those symptoms may start subsiding by laying down or sitting.

The Root of Sinus Tooth Pain

The teeth are near the maxillary and ethmoid sinuses, which are on each side of the nose. If these sinuses are blocked, it can result in an infection. When fluid accumulates, it puts pressure on the nerves entering the roots of the teeth. The pain from this pressure can create the feeling of a toothache. Most people don’t realize what they are experiencing isn’t really tooth pain; the pain is from the buildup of pressure in the head. In these instances, it is difficult for the brain to distinguish what kind of pain it senses.

Know Your Tooth Pain Symptoms

In order to tell where your symptoms are coming from, it’s essential to know what the signs mean. Tooth pain abscess symptoms include pain, swelling, redness in the gums, a bad taste in the mouth, and fever.

If you have sinusitis, symptoms include a runny nose, blockages in the nose, a sore throat and cough, heavy feeling behind the cheekbones, throbbing pain, earaches, and headaches.

Visit The Dentist

If you think you have a toothache, it’s best to visit the dentist first. They will conduct an exam to figure out what’s going on. They will initially look at your teeth and gums but will also consider something sinus-related. If you have allergies and have sinus infections frequently, you could have more severe issues going on in the background, like decayed or infected teeth that are being affected by your sinus problems.

Williams, Daily & Frazier Dental is a family and cosmetic dentist located in North Raleigh, NC with a team of dedicated dentists enthusiastic in their commitment to their patients. We offer dental implants, Invisalign teeth straightening, in-office and home teeth whitening options, and Oral-B electric toothbrushes.
Contact Williams, Daily & Frazier at (919) 846-9070 for more information and to schedule an appointment today.

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