There are various causes of toothache – it could be related to poor oral hygiene, a diet that’s high in sugar, damage or injury to your teeth, or you could be grinding your teeth at night due to stress or other factors. However, the cause of your toothache may not be related to your oral health at all, but coming from elsewhere in your head – your sinuses.
What is sinus toothache?
Sinuses are the cavities around the nose, found behind the cheekbones and forehead, that produce mucus to line our nasal passages. This helps to protect the inside of the nose from dirt, bacteria, pollutants, and more. Sinusitis or sinus infections cause the lining of the sinuses to become inflamed. Your sinuses can also become blocked by mucus and fluid if you have a cold, which creates pressure inside the sinuses.
This pressure and congestion can cause painful headaches since the sinuses are spread out around the skull. The lower sinuses, the ones behind your cheekbones, lie close to your upper bone and teeth, so toothache is also a common symptom of conditions like sinusitis. The pain can also affect your lower teeth as it spreads around the head, but mostly affects the upper teeth.
Spotting a sinus toothache
If you are experiencing pain across the upper jaw, rather than it being isolated to one or two neighboring teeth, then your sinuses could be to blame. This pain may also be accompanied by a general headache around the eyes and forehead, and you will likely have symptoms similar to a cold such as a blocked nose, thick mucus, and fatigue. Since your nose, throat, and ears are connected, so may also experience ear pain or a feeling of your ears being blocked, and symptoms like a sore throat.
How to treat a sinus toothache
You can use over-the-counter pain medication to help manage your toothache while also treating the root cause of the pain, the sinusitis. If you speak to your doctor, they may prescribe medications such as decongestants or a steroid nasal spray. There are also some things you can do at home to try to relieve your discomfort and even treat the condition.
These include flushing out your sinuses with a saline solution and using the steam from a hot shower to relieve pressure. Alternatively, you can fill a bowl with hot water and place a towel over your head over the bowl of water for a quick steam treatment. Make sure you stay well hydrated when treating or managing a sinus infection.
If you’re suffering from a toothache and aren’t sure of the cause, then visit Advance Family Dentists for a check-up in Advance, NC.