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Is it Toothache or Sinus Pain?

Posted in Dental Care, and General Dentistry

“Is it a toothache or am I suffering from sinus pain?” It is quite common to confuse the two, and it is a question that is frequently asked at Erbsville Dental. During colder weather or when there is more pollen in the air patients will come in and swear, they have a toothache. Not to worry, most dentists see this quite a bit and are good at pinpointing or correctly diagnosing the problem.

The Best Type of Toothache

Maxillary sinus pain is by far the best type of toothache you can have. Because it is not a toothache at all. The maxillary sinus is an air space behind your cheeks located near the roots of your upper back teeth. If you have inflammation in your sinus it causes pressure on the nerves that run through it and can genuinely feel like a toothache.

If you go to your dentist and complain of toothache, the first thing they will do is check your teeth and make sure they are responding normally. Usually they will take an x-ray to eliminate a dental cause. The dentist will look for decay, a crack, ware, fractures, or an oral infection. If they cannot find any dental issues, they will start to look at whether the sinuses are having an impact.

Symptoms of maxillary sinus infection include:

  • Dull pain when biting down
  • Increased sensitivity
  • Headache
  • Constant ache
  • Increased pain when lying down

Causes of Sinusitis

Sometimes sinus infection is caused by an associated flu or cold but not always. Treatment depends on what has caused the infection (Sinusitis). Sinusitis is most commonly caused from inflammation due to allergies from pollen or dust. In this case your doctor can prescribe an antihistamine. Sometimes sinusitis is the result of a bacterial infection requiring antibiotics.

Many times, sinus issues (sinusitis) will clear on there own without the need for medications. You can help the natural healing process along using steam or eucalyptus inhalation. And pain can be relieved using ibuprofen (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug).

See Erbsville Dental, Waterloo for Help

It may be impossible for you to tell if you have sinusitis or a toothache. The good news is that most cases of sinusitis resolve themselves within a week or two. But if the problem persists, it is important to consult either your dentist (Dr. Stephen Mathews, Waterloo) or a general practitioner.