Can a Bad Tooth Cause Sinus Problems?

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Can tooth issues cause sinus problems?

Since your teeth and sinuses are so close together, a lot of people ask us: “Can a bad tooth cause sinus problems?” This is a little more complex than a simple yes or no answer, so we thought it’d be a good idea if we explored this topic by looking at how toothaches and sinusitis may be connected.

Teeth Roots Are Near the Sinus Lining

The roots of the tooth go very deep into your gums, which is one reason why teeth are able to stay so durable. The problem is that the roots of the upper teeth extend so deep that they’re located very close to what’s called the maxillary sinuses, which are located by your nose. This proximity to the sinus cavity means your sinuses and teeth are linked, so any issues you may have with one may wreak havoc with the other.

Toothaches Can Cause Sinusitis

Very often, a toothache is caused by an infection in your tooth. If this infection is located close to the base of your upper teeth, then you may experience sinus pain. In some instances, bacteria may spread into the sinuses and cause sinusitis, which is an infection of the sinuses. On the flip side, if you develop a sinus infection, you may end up with a toothache as well.

Root Canals Don’t Cause Sinusitis, But…

Since root canal therapy removes the nerves and pulp of a tooth and is done very deeply into your gums, a lot of people assume that this can cause sinusitis. The good news is that root canals don’t cause any type of sinus infection.

However, you may experience what’s called “sinus communication,” which is caused when a small hole has been poked in the sinus lining during the procedure. It doesn’t happen too often, but it’s a possibility.

The good news is that although this may cause sinus pain, sinus pressure, a runny nose, and post-nasal drip, it will most likely heal up in just a few days. Any longer than that, and you should call your dentist to seek treatment. But again, this doesn’t happen very often.

What Should You Do If You Have Sinus Pain?

If you have sinus pain, the obvious thing to do is seek treatment. The severity or frequency of sinus pain will depend on a variety of factors, including your overall health, medical history, etc. Many people have sinus issues that go away after a day or two, while others have long-term problems, including chronic sinusitis, that require medical assistance. If the pain is severe or doesn’t go away, you should definitely schedule an appointment with a medical or dental care professional.

How Do You Handle Tooth Pain?

Tooth pain is very often one of the worst pains that a person can go through. If it gets bad enough, you may barely be able to think straight because of the throbbing menace that’s pounding in your face.

If you think it’s an emergency, your dentist will be able to help right away. But if not, schedule an appointment with the dental office and then try these home remedies to relieve the pain until your appointment:

  • Apply a Cold Compress — Setting a cold compress up against the area of your tooth pain will numb it. If you don’t have an actual compress around, you can use a bag of frozen peas or wrap ice cubes inside a cloth.
  • Take an Anti-Inflammatory — Another obvious go-to is to take anti-inflammatory medication. People react differently to various types of pain medications, so you may have to speak to a doctor to discover which is most effective.
  • Rinse with Saltwater — Rinsing with saltwater is a tried-and-true method for relieving tooth pain. If you have either guava mouthwash or hydrogen peroxide available, rinsing with these will help with the pain, too.
  • Acupressure Session — Acupressure has the same intent and function as acupuncture but without the needles. This can help reduce tooth pain by causing your body to release endorphins and by concentrating pressure on specific areas of your body that correlate with your teeth.

Dr. Ferullo is the best dentist in St. Petersburg.

Since a bad tooth can cause sinus problems, this is another reason why you should always maintain good dental hygiene. Dr. Ferullo can help you achieve your dental goals throughout the year. If you’d like to set up an appointment or have a question about our free whitening treatments, call our St. Petersburg dental office at (727) 822-8101 today.


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