Tooth Pain and Sinuses

As spring quickly approaches, allergy suffers begin to complain of sinus problems. Under certain circumstances, people may feel as if they have a toothache when in actuality, they are experiencing a sinus infection.  People struggle to differentiate a toothache from a sinus infection because sinus cavities are so close to upper teeth.

The maxillary sinuses need to drain upward, since we are upright most of the day, this is a difficult task. When these sinus cavities become congested, they put pressure on upper teeth and cheeks thereby indirectly creating “tooth pain.”

There are also cases in which an infected maxillary tooth can lead to a sinus infection. Studies indicate that a direct correlation between sinus infections and dental cavities, impacted wisdom teeth, incomplete dental work, and tooth or crown fractures.

I’m Dr. James Stewart, a Livonia, MI, dentist and I can determine if you suffer from a sinus infection or a true toothache by performing a percussion test. I will tap on your teeth to determine where the pain is located.  If there is pain in all of your teeth, you most likely have a sinus infection, in which case, I will recommend a visit to your general physician.

X-rays can also determine signs of a sinus infection.  During a sinus infection, the sinus cavity fills with mucous that will appear white and murky in the x-ray; a normal sinus looks black.

If you are experiencing a toothache and can’t determine if it is from a sinus infection, call my Livonia dentist office at (743)425-4400 to schedule an appointment.  Your oral health and overall health are important to me.