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Tooth Pain & Sinus Congestion

by
author image Emily DeSerio
Emily DeSerio has been a freelance writer since November 2009. DeSerio works in the mental health field as a clinical social worker. She began her higher level education at the University of South Florida (USF) with a B.A. in English and went on to complete a Master of Social Work degree at USF as well.
Tooth Pain & Sinus Congestion
A toothache can result from sinus congestion. Photo Credit Medioimages/Photodisc/Valueline/Getty Images

Dr. Alan Carr, a Mayo Clinic prosthodontist, says that there can be a direct correlation between sinus congestion and tooth pain. He states that the upper teeth are the most affected by sinus issues due to their proximity to the sinus cavity. See your dentist to determine whether tooth pain is the result of sinus congestion or another dental concern.

Definition

Sinus congestion is the result of inflamed and swollen sinus cavities, commonly from a sinus infection, according to the Mayo Clinic. Inflamed sinuses press on the surrounding areas of the face such as the teeth, aggravating the roots of the teeth. The constant pressure can make you feel like you have a cavity or a severe toothache.

Symptoms

The Consumer Guide to Dentistry states that studies have demonstrated that frequent sinus infections play into impacted wisdom teeth, cavities and a tooth fracture. Tooth pain associated with sinus congestion manifests itself with nasal discharge, sinus pressure and an itchy nose. The pain in the teeth will come and go and manifest itself as a dull, throbbing pain. The pain can switch from tooth to tooth over time, according to the Consumer Guide to Dentistry. Bad breath may also result from sinus congestion.

Diagnosis

Tooth pain resulting from sinus congestion can be diagnosed by a dentist. The dentist takes an instrument and taps on all the upper teeth to locate the pain. If the pain is from sinus congestion, all the teeth will be sensitive to the tapping, according to the Consumer Guide to Dentistry. In rare cases, X-rays may be required to identify the problem or to confirm that the pain is not from a dental issue.

Treatment

Treating sinus congestion associated with tooth pain may require antibiotics, decongestants, antihistamines and routine nasal washes. The need will be determined by a doctor, according to the Consumer Guide to Dentistry. The Mayo Clinic states that antibiotics may be used to treat sinus congestion if it is the result of a bacterial sinus infection. Decongestants are used to reduce inflammation in the sinus cavity; antihistamines are used to treat sinus congestion due to allergies and are commonly combined, according to the American Academy of Otolaryngology. Nasal washes are used to cleanse the sinus cavity from impurities and irritants.

Complications

If the nasal congestion is the result of a sinus infection, you should talk with your doctor. A sinus infection left untreated can lead to more severe conditions such as an eye infection, brain infection and bone infection, according to the Mayo Clinic. Seek dental advice before treating tooth pain or concluding it is the result of nasal congestion.

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