Do you suffer from sinus pressure? If so, you probably know that the pain can be unbearable sometimes. Sinus pressure isn’t only an inconvenience; it can cause you a loss of sleep, pain when eating, and overall agonizing discomfort. Both seasonal allergies and sinus infections can cause sinus pressure, and both can lead to toothaches if the sinus cavities become inflamed and swollen. The swelling, in turn, can cause the pressure to push down on the teeth below the nasal passages. This is what leads to tooth pain. The pain is most often felt in the upper rear teeth, as those are the teeth closest to the sinus cavity.
Sinus Cavity Anatomy
Knowing how the sinus cavities are laid out will help you understand how inflammation within them can cause pain and discomfort in your teeth. The sinus cavities are four air-filled spaces that live behind your eyes, cheekbones, and forehead. Their job is to moisten and warm the air you breathe as it comes into your body. The mucus produced within your sinus cavities acts as a filtering mechanism, keeping debris and dust from entering further into the lungs. When they become irritated, however, the tissue that lines your sinus cavities can become blocked by fluid, ultimately causing congestion and pressure that often leads to pain in the upper teeth. This is because the roots of your upper teeth share the confined space where your sinus cavities live.
What’s the Difference Between a Regular Toothache and a Sinus Toothache?
All pain is not created equal. Typically, a toothache that’s not caused by sinus problems will only involve one tooth. Conversely, if you’re experiencing a sinus toothache, you’ll probably feel discomfort in several teeth, particularly the top molars (or back teeth). A toothache that’s accompanied by sinus problems usually includes some or all of the following symptoms:
- Pressure or tenderness around the eyes or forehead
- Bad-tasting nasal drip
- Thick, discolored mucus
- Ear pain
- Sore throat
- Inability to smell and taste
These symptoms all intertwine because the position of the nasal cavities causes discomfort across a person’s entire face, head, and neck region, whereas a single toothache may be caused by decay, damage, or sensitivity in one tooth.
How to Relieve Sinus-Induced Tooth Pain
It’s always best to see your dentist if you’re experiencing any type of tooth pain. He or she will assess the situation to ensure your own diagnosis is correct. Your dentist may also be able to prescribe medication to mitigate the pain and discomfort.
In the interim, here is what you can do to relieve tooth pain from sinus pressure:
- Stay hydrated and drink lots of water
- Eat foods that are known to reduce inflammation, as that’s largely the cause of sinus-induced tooth pain.
- Add Calcium and Vitamin C to your diet – Calcium-rich foods, such as broccoli, asparagus, leafy greens, and bean sprouts, can counteract histamines, which are inflammation-causing elements. Don’t skimp on the orange juice or other citrusy foods that are packed with the power of the essential Vitamin C.
- Eat food rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, like the ones found in salmon, are also great for combating inflammation.
- Breathe in steam with hot, moist air. This will open your nasal passages and relieve sinus pressure.
- Rinse your sinuses with a saline solution. Saline solutions clear any discharge and moisture the sinuses.
Should You See Your Doctor or Dentist?
If you’re sure the pain is caused by sinus inflammation, see your doctor first. He or she will provide advice for prescription or over-the-counter medications that should clear out your sinuses and alleviate the pressure. If you’re unsure what’s causing the pain, or if the tooth pain continues after your sinuses have cleared up, there may be something else going on that’s causing the issue. Your dentist will take X-rays and examine your mouth and oral cavity to determine if there are any breakages, areas of decay, or abscesses that could be contributing to your toothache. If your dentist gives the all-clear, head to your doctor to discuss potential sinus care.
If you’re experiencing tooth pain from sinus pressure and are looking for relief, our dentists are here to help. Find a Perfect Teeth dentist near you today!