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Is it Sinuses or Something More Serious Causing Your Tooth Pain?

Your tooth pain could be sinuses or something more serious.


It’s not unusual to experience tooth pain when you have a cold or are struggling with seasonal allergies. Tooth pain occurs because the hollow cavities next to your nose, called the sinuses, fill with fluid and become inflamed. This inflammation, known as sinusitis, is usually painful and puts pressure on nearby teeth. This pressure may feel like a toothache, leading some individuals to make an appointment with their dentist to get checked out. Here are a few simple self-checks Dr. Caracioni recommends patients perform to help identify if the source of their pain is sinuses or something more serious.

First, Determine Where Your Pain is Located. Most people who experience tooth pain caused by sinus problems have pain in their upper back teeth. There are some patients who have pain in their upper front teeth or their lower back teeth, too. When the teeth hurt from sinus pressure, the pain is balanced on both sides of the mouth, versus in one particular tooth.

Pain in other areas of the mouth may be an indicator that you have a dental problem and may need further care. A good way to see if it is sinus pain or true tooth pain is to push down on the tooth or teeth that seem to hurt. If the pain intensifies immediately, you have something more than sinusitis going on.

Next, Rate Your Pain. In most cases, patients with pain caused by sinus pressure describe their discomfort as a dull ache. Others report that their teeth feel heavy. If the pain in your teeth diminishes with the use of allergy medications, decongestants, cold medicines or over-the-counter pain relievers, your tooth pain is likely related to your sinus congestion.

On the other hand, if you experience pain that feels sharp, stabbing or throbbing, this could indicate you have tooth decay, gum disease or infection. Pain that is constant, gets worse at night and does not respond to over-the-counter medications warrants a call to Dr. Caracioni for a thorough examination.

Now, Check for Other Symptoms. If you’re experiencing tooth pain along with a headache, pressure in the ears or earache, runny nose or sore throat, it is safe to say that your sinuses are probably the source of your pain. If you experience swelling or redness of the gums around the area of pain, have a foul taste in your mouth or bad breath, and are spiking a fever, you possibly have a dental abscess or periodontal infection that is causing your pain.

Still not sure if your sinuses are the source of your tooth pain? Call Dr. Caracioni today at 785-783-0741 to schedule a complete checkup.