Do you experience pressure headaches that manifest as pain and pounding in your temples and upper facial muscles? Do you find it difficult to sleep – spending your nights tossing and turning to find a comfortable position? Many who deal with these symptoms find that the pain travels from the jaw, into the ear, and back into the head as they sleep, sit up, and experience one restless night after the next. It’s only natural in this situation to suspect that you have a cavity or other dental problem that’s causing your misery, but this isn’t always the case. We’ve found that, often, the root cause of the anguish is not your teeth but, in fact, sinus inflammation.
Sinus Swelling and Toothaches
Tooth pain can be tricky. Patients often struggle to pinpoint the exact origin point of the pain, even when the culprit is indeed a dental issue. The situation only grows more confusing when the problem isn’t caused by tooth decay or impaction, a relatively common scenario, owing to the frequency with which sinus problems can masquerade as dental issues. Before you rush to make an emergency dental appointment, consider the nature of your tooth pain. Is it localized to your upper teeth? Are you experiencing pain in your back molars? Often, these are symptoms of swelling in the sinuses due to a buildup of excess mucus. The pressure from the sinuses directly impacts the nerve endings in your upper teeth, which is why many patients mistakenly believe they have a dental problem.
Sinusitis – the medical term for a sinus infection – occurs when there is painful swelling in an individual’s nasal sinuses. Coming in both acute and chronic forms, maxillary sinus swelling is frequently mistaken for a dental issue simply because the resulting pressure manifests as tooth pain. Sinusitis can come about from several different root causes, including a cold, pre-existing asthma, air pollutants, respiratory infections, a deviated septum, and many other irritants that cause the sinuses to swell. However, even if you don’t believe that you’ve experienced any of these precursor conditions, sinusitis could still be the primary cause of your tooth pain.
If you suspect that your tooth pain is a result of a sinus infection, there are steps you can take to relieve your sinuses of the mucus buildup and inflammation that is the source of your discomfort. Eating spicy foods can help thin mucus and make it easier for you to breathe. A saline rinse can eliminate excess mucus and make it easier for the inflammation to dissipate. Steam, too, can have a draining effect on your sinuses. Finally, make sure you get plenty of sleep so that your body can do everything possible to heal itself.
While a sinus infection can, and often does, go away on its own, you should take proactive measures if your infection lasts for more than a week.
Schedule an Appointment
Alabama Ear Nose & Throat Specialists is comprised of professionals who can help you recover from your sinus infection and related tooth pain. Call or schedule an appointment through our website to receive the quality healthcare you need to relieve painful sinus pressure and breathe easily once again.