With nearly 50 million people affected with allergies a year, dealing with the common issues of sneezy, watery noses and itchy eyes can be somewhat frustrating. But another common symptom that can accompany allergies is the presence of sinus pressure or a feeling like you have a toothache. Sinus tooth pain can be one of the most challenging symptoms of having allergies a person can deal with, but it is not limited to just a reaction to sensitivity from dust, pollen, or animals and may be caused by an underlying dental concern or infection.
The pressure causing sinus tooth pain can be somewhat confusing, and typically the person experiencing the pain just wants to be pain-free. The first step in seeking relief for a pain occurring in the sinus region is to find out the cause. You can’t effectively treat the problem when you don’t know what is causing the toothache.
What is Sinus Pressure and Sinus Tooth Pain?
People perceive sinus pressure different because it can vary in degrees of discomfort. For one person it may feel like a blockage is happening at the sides of the nose, while others may experience severe pain in the sides of their face near their ears. Because the sinuses and your teeth/jawbone are located in such a small area, it can be common to confuse the cause of sinus pressure.
Can A Sinus Infection Cause Tooth Pain?
Simply put, yes it can. Any buildup of mucus in the sinus can result in what feels like a toothache, but it may not always be the sinus that causes tooth pain. A sinus infection has different symptoms that also can include a toothache. Some of the other signs of a sinus infection that are good to know and help identify if your tooth pain is caused by infection include:
- Sinus pressure that occurs behind the eyes and the cheeks.
- A runny, stuffy nose lasting more than a week.
- A headache that worsens over time.
- A cough.
- Bad breath.
- Thick yellow or green mucus draining to the back of your throat (postnasal drip).
It’s important to know that the pain from a sinus toothache can be confused with other dental issues such as having a cavity or abscess. Seeing your dentist is the only way to determine the exact cause of the tooth pain. But many are still confused about whether or not they should see their doctor or dentist. This is because the pressure felt from the sinus can often be relieved with over the counter medication, and therefore easy to treat. However, sometimes, the problem can go deeper than just a mild headache aggravated by not being able to drain mucus.
A simple test you can do to find out if the blocked sinuses cause your toothache is to bed over. If the tooth pain increases when bent over, it is more than likely a sinus toothache.
Finding Relief From The Tooth Pain
To gain pain relief, you must know first what you are treating. But there are some general tips to help relieve a sinus tooth pain:
Sinus Infection Tooth Pain
If the cause is a sinus infection, the toothache will feel dull, like there is a fair amount of pressure on your teeth or jawbone. Typically it will be in an isolated location, or one side of the face, which is a good indication of the problem. The tooth pain can be from seasonal allergies or an infection such as a cold. If you are feeling a little under the weather in addition to the having a sinus tooth pain, a sinus infection is a likely culprit. To manage the pain, the best bet is to call your doctor for a prescription for anti-inflammatory or seek over the counter remedies to reduce the inflammation. You can also try to do a combination of hot/cold treatments to try and reduce the pain while waiting for the medication to start working. This involves a cold compress for ten minutes followed by heat (generally a heating pad) for another ten minutes. If the pain persists, you may need to call your dentist to investigate the possibility of more going on than just a sinus infection.
Oddly enough a toothache, in general, while can be related to a sinus infection could be caused by a broken tooth or other dental issues. The location of a tooth that has broken or developed an abscess will be quite a bit more painful than a toothache from a sinus infection. Think more of a sharp, unrelenting pain. In most cases, the only remedy here will be to visit your dentist to correct the problem and be given antibiotics if necessary. While the worst toothaches are enough to make anyone cry, relieving the pain ASAP is usually the only thought going through their mind. A combination of over the counter anti-inflammatories, pain relievers, and numbing medication like Ora-gel is sometimes enough to subside the pain long enough to make it in to see the dentist.
The discomfort felt near the ears is what is considered jaw pain. It can often be confused with a sinus toothache or infection. If you have a jaw popping sound frequently, the problem is mostly caused by a tooth or jaw alignment issue rather than a sinus infection. The treatment for jaw pain will require visiting the dentist to correct. A bad bite can also contribute to jaw pain and have symptoms similar to sinus pressure or the feeling like something is blocked. However, an examination from your dentist will quickly determine that the pain you are experiencing is related to the sinuses or a jaw issue, like TMJ.
Your dentist will have numerous options to help prevent jaw pain from reoccurring like mouthguards to prevent grinding or appliances like braces to correct the alignment, depending on what the cause may be.
Sinus tooth pain can be one of the most frustrating symptoms to deal with, and not knowing what the cause is can make the situation even more so. Luckily there are ways to treat a sinus infection toothache with over the counter medication or a trip to the dentist if the problem doesn’t resolve quickly with the help of medicine and pain relievers. But if you are experiencing tooth pain from sinus pressure on a regular basis, you may want to talk to your dentist about options or to rule out any possible dental issues.