Aching molars are no fun. For some, it can be nerve-wracking, with accompanying thoughts of impending dental visits. However, there’s a cause of aching teeth that has nothing to do with your oral care routine.
The roots of your upper back teeth are quite close to the sinuses, so if toothaches occur when you’re also suffering from a sinus infection, your teeth may be innocent bystanders, and they’ll feel better when your sinuses clear up.
Not every sinus infection passes quickly, though. Sinusitis can be acute or chronic, for a range of reasons, so if your infection persists — along with your aching teeth — it’s time to visit Alpha Internal Medicine for an exam and diagnosis.
Virtually everyone has experienced sinusitis, an inflammation of the sinuses behind your nose, when they have colds. In most cases, this type of viral infection is minor. It’s unpleasant, but within seven to ten days, your symptoms will be gone.
However, during that time, mucus overproduction and poor drainage can create conditions that are ideal for the growth of bacteria. When a bacterial infection takes over, you may be suffering longer, in need of further treatment, such as a course of antibiotics. When sinusitis becomes chronic, your tooth pain can become chronic as well.
Sinuses are air-filled cavities in your head that warm, moisturize, and filter the air you breathe. There are several sinuses, one on its own with the rest in pairs. These are:
Sinuses have secondary roles, including keeping the weight of your skull down and contributing to the sound of your voice because of their resonance. You can observe this when you notice how a person’s voice changes when they have a cold.
When the large maxillary sinuses behind your cheeks become infected, they can transmit pain signals due to inflammation and congestion. These sinuses share nerve pathways with your teeth and gums, which is why you may perceive tooth pain when there’s nothing directly wrong with your teeth.
In some cases, dental infections can cause infection in the maxillary sinuses. Estimates range from 10 to 40% of chronic maxillary infections result from a dental issue. Because of this, checking in with your dentist is also a good idea, particularly if you’re behind on dental care. They will let you know if your tooth pain is due to a medically treated sinus infection, if your teeth check out.
When you need medical care for your sinusitis, contact Alpha Internal Medicine by phone or request an appointment online. That phantom tooth pain may be gone sooner than you think. Book your consultation now.