Are You Experiencing Sinus Tooth Pain?

Thursday, September 27, 2018
Are You Experiencing Sinus Tooth Pain?

Determine Whether Your Pain Is Due to Sinus Pressure or a Cavity

After a short night of sleep, you wake up to a persistent throbbing headache and sinus pressure behind your cheeks and temples. When you sit up, the dull headache sharpens into a pain that travels into your teeth and up to your ear. Is it a toothache or sinus tooth pain?

Take Stock of Your Symptoms

Creative Blog 2: "Sinus Tooth Pain"

Begin by taking stock of your tooth pain. If the pain is limited to the upper teeth—especially the back molars—you are likely suffering from a sinus headache. Sinus tooth pain occurs because of swelling and mucus buildup in the sinuses, which puts pressure on the nerves that feed into the roots of the top teeth.

The American Rhinologic Society (ARS) defines sinusitis as an inflammation of your nasal passage lining. When a cold lasts for longer than two weeks, it can become an acute sinus infection, which is associated with the buildup of bacterial or viral mucus. The mucus puts pressure on dental nerve endings, which is why patients have tooth pain.

A cavity, on the other hand, will affect any tooth in the mouth and has no relationship to sinus pain. What starts out as a tooth sensitivity can become intermittent tooth pain, then a throbbing toothache. If you see visible holes or pits on the tooth, that could be another sign that a cavity has developed.

Three Tips to Relieve Sinus Tooth Pain

If you’ve determined that your pain is actually the result of a sinus infection, then the first step is to visit the doctor. While viral infections after a cold will get better on their own, a bacterial infection must be treated with antibiotics. In the meantime, you can try these three tips to relieve sinus-related tooth pain:

  1. Eat Spicy Foods: Foods with a bit of kick, such as horseradish or chili peppers, have mucus-thinning properties so they can give a bit of relief.
  2. Increase Fluid Intake: Water hydrates the sinus membranes and decreases mucus buildup. If you’ve become dehydrated, then the electrolyte levels in your body will affect how much water it can retain. Water doesn’t contain electrolytes naturally, so you’ll want to add gatorade or coconut water so you can fully rehydrate.
  3. Breathe in Steam: Breathing in steam from hot water can break up congestion and reduce pain. Try taking hot showers, especially in the mornings, when the pain may be stronger.

Still Unsure? Talk to Your Dentist About Your Tooth Pain

Cavities are a serious condition that shouldn’t be taken lightly. If you don’t have sinus symptoms and your tooth pain continues, then you need to visit a dentist right away. Untreated dental caries become tooth infections, which are painful and costly. Treat your toothache sooner rather than later, and you’ll never regret it. To get a toothache evaluation, you can make an appointment with a Penn Dental Family Practice dentist by calling 215-898-PDFP(7337).