How Tooth Problems Can Affect Your Sinuses

How Tooth Problems Can Affect Your Sinuses

Sinuses are hollow spaces in your skull. Although they’re empty, your sinuses serve an important function: facilitating airflow as you breathe.

Most people have eight sinuses, and many experience sinus pain at some point or another. Common causes include nasal congestion and sinus headaches, but did you know your teeth can cause sinus pain too?

Your largest sinuses — called the maxillary sinuses — sit behind your cheekbones, and their proximity to your upper jaw means that tooth problems can lead to sinus problems. So if you have tooth pain, don’t ignore it.

Visit Walied Touni, DDS, MSD, and our team at Touni Orthodontics in Sunnyvale, California, to get the care you need. We specialize in diagnosing and treating impacted teeth, and we can help you identify the cause of that persistent sinus pain.

Common dental problems that cause sinus pain

Your top row of teeth is directly underneath the maxillary sinuses in your cheeks. In fact, your tooth roots might even extend into your sinuses. That means if you have a toothache, the pain may radiate into your sinuses.

Sinus pain feels like an uncomfortable pressure behind your skull. The area around your nose, eyes, and cheeks may swell, and you might also develop a stuffy nose.

Sinus problems are often the result of upper respiratory illness, like a cold or the flu. In some cases, sinus infection and other sinus problems can make your upper teeth ache. But sometimes the symptoms are triggered by tooth problems, including:

Impacted tooth

An impacted tooth is a tooth that’s stuck below your gum line. It doesn’t fully erupt, and it creates pressure and pain in your jaw. If an upper tooth gets impacted, it can interfere with the sinus cavity above it.

Wisdom teeth

Your wisdom teeth are the third set of molars at the back of your mouth. Most people get their wisdom teeth in their late teens or early 20s, and these are the teeth most likely to get impacted. An impacted wisdom tooth can lead to sinus pain and other problems.

Abscessed tooth

If your tooth gets infected, an abscess can form. Abscessed teeth are intensely painful. If the affected tooth is in your upper jaw, the pain can easily spread to your sinuses. And if it’s left untreated too long, you risk developing a sinus infection.

What to do about tooth and sinus pain

When your face hurts, it’s not easy to identify the cause on your own. That’s why you should always make a dental appointment if you have tooth pain — so Dr. Touni can help you find relief.

We examine your mouth and ask about your symptoms. In most cases, we can diagnose impacted teeth and related issues with mouth X-rays.

If you have an impacted tooth that’s causing sinus problems, Dr. Touni typically recommends extraction. In mild cases, he may use eruption aides to help your tooth come in on its own. Tooth and sinus infections may require a round of antibiotic medication.

Could the root of your sinus pain really be a tooth problem? Find out more about how common dental issues can affect your sinuses at Touni Orthodontics. Call our office at 408-412-5249 or request an appointment online today.

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