Pain in Your Teeth? It Could Be Your Sinuses

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Pain in Your Teeth? It Could Be Your Sinuses

Sinus congestion on its own can be terribly uncomfortable, leading to painful pressure in your face, but it can also lead to problems in other areas, such as headaches, and, yes, tooth pain.

As our name implies, at Sinus & Allergy Wellness Center, Dr. Franklyn Gergits and our team specialize in issues that affect your sinuses. These small, but sensitive areas, are prone to infections and allergies that can lead to very large problems with pain, including pain in your teeth, thanks to their proximity. And few things can hijack your day like sinus and tooth pain.

Here’s a look at why your tooth pain may stem from a problem in your sinuses.

Sinuses 101

To better understand the relationship between sinus problems and tooth pain, let’s quickly review the anatomy of your sinuses. You have many sinuses in your head, which are small cavities that are lined with mucus to filter and humidify the air you breathe. These sinuses are divided into four categories:

  • A pair of frontal sinuses in your forehead just above your nose
  • Ethmoid sinuses between your eyes
  • Sphenoid sinuses located behind your ethmoid sinuses
  • Maxillary sinuses in both of your cheeks

Because of the role your sinuses play in your upper respiratory tract, they’re prone to several problems.

Sinus issues

The most common problems that can affect your sinuses are:

Each of these issues can lead to sinusitis, which is a condition that describes inflammation and swelling in your sinuses.

Why tooth pain?

If you’re experiencing unexplained tooth pain, the problem may lie in your maxillary sinuses — the largest sinuses in your head, located on either side of your nose in your cheeks.

If these large cavities are infected and/or inflamed, the pressure can affect the highly sensitive nerves near the roots of your teeth, which are located just below these sinuses.

To distinguish between a problem in your teeth and pain in your teeth caused by sinusitis, there’s typically one marked difference — the pain isn’t in just one tooth, but encompasses several of your back teeth in your upper jaw.

Other clues that your tooth pain may be caused by a problem in your sinuses is the presence of other symptoms, such as:

  • Blocked nasal passages
  • Nasal discharge
  • Postnasal drip
  • Tenderness around your cheeks
  • Ear pain
  • Bad breath

If you have tooth pain alongside any of these other symptoms, the odds are good that you’re dealing with a sinus problem and not a dental one.

Solving your sinus, and tooth, problem

The good news is that we offer many treatments that relieve both tooth and sinus pain, including:

  • Nasal decongestants
  • Nasal irrigation
  • Corticosteroid sprays
  • Antibiotics, if necessary

If your sinusitis is chronic, we may recommend a quick and effective treatment that can provide lasting relief — balloon sinuplasty. During this in-office procedure, we use a balloon to enlarge the opening of your sinuses and clear away any blockages.

If you’re struggling with tooth pain because of sinusitis, please contact one of our two offices in Fountain HIlls or Scottsdale, Arizona, for relief.