How To Tell If You Have a Toothache or Sinus Infection?

Dental Tips provided by the Burnaby Dentists at North Burnaby Dental Group.

It is not always easy to differentiate between a common toothache and a sinus infection. In fact many people make an emergency trip to the dentist because of painful teeth, only to find out after an examination that their teeth are healthy and that the real cause of their pain is a sinus infection or sinusitis. Why is this the case?

A sinus toothache, or one that is caused by sinusitis, although it feels much like a common toothache, is actually referred tooth pain caused by an inflammation of the maxillary sinus. The maxillary sinus is located directly above your upper teeth, essentially right at the roots of your upper molars. It is not unusual for the sinuses to become inflamed when a person has a cold, flu or respiratory infection. This inflammation results in a buildup of pressure in the sinus cavities, which in turn places stress on nearby teeth and nerves and can result in toothaches.

While it is at times very difficult to know if what you are suffering with is in fact sinusitis as opposed to a toothache, there are a few indications which may help you to determine what it is that you are dealing with. If you have a cold or fluif your nose feels blocked or is runny (with or without discharge down your throat) you may have a sinus infection. Other symptoms like a cough, sore throat, fever, and headache may be present. A throbbing pain or feeling of heaviness behind the cheek bones is a sign of sinus inflammation. The cheek areas also may feel tender to touch. With sinusitis, the pain is often made worse by nodding your head up and down, bending over, or going up and down stairs.

If the pain persists though, the wise course of action is to see your dentist, who can check your teeth to determine whether or not they are the source of your pain. If several upper back teeth are tender when the dentist taps them, this can point to sinusitis as the cause of pain. X-rays may also to help rule out dental disease as the problem. If your dentist rules out a dental cause for the toothache, consult your doctor. He or she will consider whether a sinus condition or other underlying medical problem is contributing to the toothache. If it is a sinus infection, pain relief may be achieved by treating the infection with prescription antibiotics and by relieving the pressure in the sinus cavities with the help of decongestants. Whatever the case, don’t just suffer through the pain! The dentists at North Burnaby Dental Group are more than happy to determine what is causing your discomfort and to guide you toward relief.

Additional articles are available from Burnaby Dentists at North Burnaby Dental Group.

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