Is it a Toothache…or a Sinus Infection? Here’s What to Know!

January 5, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — painesvilledental @ 10:23 pm
a man holding his cheek due to a toothache

It’s easy to take your pearly whites for granted. They allow you to enjoy your favorite foods and even give your face its shape. However, when a toothache strikes, it can keep you from your everyday activities. While you may think it’s time for a dental visit, it could be an issue with your sinuses. Here’s how to know if you have an oral health problem or a sinus infection!

First Things First: What is a Sinus Infection?

While you may know that you have sinuses, you might not know the specifics. Sinuses are air-filled passages that moisten, warm, and filter the air in your nasal cavity. Typically, you have four sets of them located in different areas of your face—above your eyes, behind your forehead, between your eyes, and behind your nose.  

When these areas in your head become blocked with fluid, an infection can occur. Your sinuses can also become infected when bacteria are introduced to the area when coughing or blowing your nose.

Toothache vs. Sinus Infection

Many people know the feeling of a toothache. From a dull, aching discomfort to a throbbing, severe pain, it can make it hard to accomplish your day-to-day obligations. Toothaches are most often caused when the innermost part of the tooth (dental pulp) becomes infected as a result of tooth decay. Since the dental pulp is made up of sensitive nerves and blood vessels, the infection can cause major discomfort.

However, while many sinus issue symptoms are congestion, sinus pressure, and pain, they can also be the cause of a toothache. The pain usually occurs in the upper molars (back teeth) because they are located nearest to the sinuses. In rarer cases, the lower molars will sometimes feel the pain.

How will you know if it is an infected tooth or a sinus issue? If sinus pressure is the culprit behind the pain in your teeth, there will be other accompanying symptoms, such as:

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Sore throat
  • Foul breath
  • Thick, discolored mucus
  • Facial tenderness or pressure
  • Ear pain or fullness

Your Next Steps

If you haven’t had one of your biannual dental exams in a while, it’s best to go visit your dentist as soon as you can. Not only can they discover if the root cause of your toothache is an infection, but they can also give you a deep cleaning in order to prevent any future issues. You can also visit your general practitioner doctor if you feel most of the symptoms are related to your sinuses.

A toothache is a sign that something is wrong and needs to be treated. With the knowledge about toothaches and sinuses, as well as help from your dentist, you will return to a healthy smile as soon as possible!

About the Practice

Painesville Dental Group is eager to help you keep your smile in top condition through the expertise of its three dentists.  They offer a full range of dental services, including preventive, restorative, cosmetic, and emergency care. By using personalized plans and the latest dental technology, they can help you with any oral health issue, including a toothache. To schedule an appointment, contact them through their website or call (440) 354-2183.

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