Can a sinus infection cause tooth pain ?


Sinus is an air-filled space present inside the bone which is connected to the nasal cavity. It is lined by a tissue, which acts as a protective layer of this air space. Inflammation of the protective layer of the sinus is called sinusitis.

Sinus inflammation can lead to sinus tooth pain. Pressure from the infected sinus can cause it. The upper back teeth which are close to the sinus experience this pain.

The sinus in the human body is eight in number (four pairs) in the facial bones near your eyes, forehead and behind cheekbones. The function of the sinus is to lighten the skull and improve the voice. But their primary purpose is to produce mucus for moisturization. This mucus layer protects the nose from microbes, dust, pollutants and dirt.

Sinusitis can be acute or chronic, and it can be caused by bacteria, a virus, or even an autoimmune reaction. A person’s risk for developing sinusitis will increase if there is a history of respiratory tract infection, nasal polyps, low immunity or if the person is highly allergic to dust and pollens. Correct medical intervention helps get away with sinusitis.

Sinus infection causes discomfort in the upper teeth. This infection occurs since the roots of the upper teeth are close to the sinuses. Sometimes, even lower teeth may pain, which is called referred pain.

Sinus tootache vs regular toothache

There is some similarity between regular toothache and sinus toothache. However, the main difference is that in a sinus tooth pain, only the upper teeth are involved. Also, there will be involvement of multiple upper teeth and not just one upper tooth.

A regular toothache is concentrated at one site and is sharp and intense. Sinus tooth pain increases with motion. Jumping or bending down may worsen the pain. This pain occurs since the pressure in the sinus shifts to the region surrounding the upper teeth leading to pain in that area. This pain decreases on sitting down or after lying on the bed.

A dental procedure cannot treat the pain experienced in the upper teeth due to sinusitis. However, the treatment of sinusitis can help in relieving the pain of the teeth.

The causes of sinusitis are majorly viruses, bacteria, fungi, and chemical irritation.

Symptoms vary, depending on the length and severity of the infection. They are similar to cold and nasal allergy-like a runny nose, cough, facial pain, and sinus blockage.

Other symptoms would include fever, halitosis, thick mucus, loss of smell and taste, loud voice, and sore throat.An ENT specialist diagnoses sinusitis through physical examination.. The specialist enquires from the patient about his symptoms, which helps in diagnosing the disease. In cases of persistent or severe sinusitis, a CT scan may be needed

How long does a sinus tooth pain last?

The toothache generally stops as soon as the sinus infection goes away unless there are other factors contributing to the tooth pain. While toothaches arising from sinus infections can be painful, it takes around seven to ten days for the pain to subside. If you don’t feel better in this time frame, consult a dentist

Home Remedies for sinusitis

Home remedies are the best and the most natural solutions to sinusitis. If they do no help, you can switch on to the traditional treatments

Some of the home remedies include:

  • Nasal irrigation: This involves the use of saltwater or saline solution for a sinus rinse.
  • Steam inhalation: Breathing hot, moist air at home with menthol or eucalyptus oil added to the water can provide relief from congestion.
  • Painkillers: Painkillers help relieve pain caused by sinusitis.
  • Warm compress: Warm compress of the affected area of the face can help to provide comfort.
  • Decongestant tablets and sprays: These may reduce swelling and allow the sinuses to drain. Patients should use these sprays for three days. These sprays help reduce swelling and help remove the sinuses.
  • Hydration and rest: Keeping yourself hydrated will also help relieve symptoms.

Prevention of sinusitis

The following may help prevent sinusitis:

  • Maintaining good hand hygiene
  • Avoid smoking
  • Avoid allergens
  • Use a humidifier to moisten the air at home, and keep it clean

Additional References

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *