Do you have an aching face and pain in your teeth, especially the upper rear teeth? Naturally, you might think you need dental treatment right away. But those symptoms could also signal a sinus infection.
Sinus inflammation can cause pain in your upper back teeth because they are located close to the sinuses. When an infection causes the sinuses to fill with fluid, the pressure can lead to a toothache in your upper back teeth.
If you have these symptoms, make an appointment to see us. We can examine your teeth and perform some tests to see if the pain has a dental origin. Typically, we will take an x-ray, ask if you have a history of sinusitis and inquire about other symptoms, such as nasal congestion, headache, tenderness over the sinuses and fever. These could indicate that your tooth pain is sinus-related.
We may also perform a percussion test by tapping on individual teeth to see whether that causes pain.
Generalized pain in multiple teeth is usually another indicator of sinus infection. If we rule out a dental cause for your tooth and facial pain, we will likely recommend that you see your physician for a sinus evaluation.
If your physician determines that you have sinusitis, he or she will often prescribe a decongestant to reduce the swollen nasal tissues. If your sinusitis has a bacterial component, you may need an antibiotic as well.
A toothache isn’t the only dental problem that may arise. Congested sinuses can cause you to breathe through your mouth, and people who breathe through their mouths develop plaque and tartar buildup more quickly because of dry mouth. Bad breath can also result from the infection. And sinus infections may make it difficult to practice good oral hygiene because of the discomfort involved.
It is important to treat a sinus infection before it actually causes a dental problem. The next time you have pain in your teeth, call our office. You’ll breathe easier.