If you have a sinus infection or your sinuses are inflamed, it can cause a toothache. Although your tooth hurts, the problem here is not your tooth but your sinuses. Sinus pressure and drainage from sinusitis can lead to toothache, usually in the upper rear teeth that are close to the sinuses. Understanding whether a toothache is caused by sinus problems helps to determine the right treatment. If you have a sinus infection, your dentist won’t be able to do much about it, although they will be able to tell you if your toothache is linked to your sinuses.
When you have a sinus toothache, there are various things that can be done to help relieve the pain.
Symptoms of a Sinus Toothache
It can be a little difficult to determine if a toothache is caused by your sinuses or if it’s a regular toothache with another cause. However, a sinus toothache tends to be specifically in the upper molars close to the sinuses, so toothaches affecting other teeth are unlikely to be caused by your sinuses. Sinus toothaches are also often felt in several teeth at once, and not just in a single tooth. If you have a toothache with another cause, it’s likely to be the only place you’re feeling pain. It can be more focused and intense compared to a sinus toothache.
There are other symptoms to watch out for too, which might indicate a sinus infection. These include pressure around your eyes, nose and forehead, which is where your sinuses are located. You might find that you have thick and discolored mucus or that you have a nasal drip with a bad taste. This can cause halitosis (bad bread) as well. You might also notice that your ears hurt or feel full, you could have a fever, a sore throat or hoarse voice, and you might feel tired. Sinus infections can cause you to lose your sense of taste and smell temporarily too.
Treating a Sinus Toothache
If you have a toothache caused by your sinuses, you can explore ways to treat it at home and treatments from your doctor. Firstly, make sure that you stay hydrated. Getting plenty of fluids helps to thin out the mucus and reduce blockages and pressure. Warm drinks can be especially helpful. Steam can also help to open up your sinuses and allow them to drain, so you might want to steam your face or take a hot shower. Another solution is to rinse out your sinuses using a nasal spray, a Neti pot or a nasal irrigation system. Decongestant nasal sprays can be helpful, but using them too much could mean they’re not as effective and lead to congestion recurring.
When home remedies aren’t working, your doctor might be able to prescribe a decongestant medication, mucus-thinning medication or steroid nasal spray. Allergy medications can also be helpful if you have a sinus problem. Antibiotics can sometimes be used once other treatment options have been tried, but only if your doctor suspects a bacterial infection.