With cold and flu season fast approaching along with winter, it’s important to recognize the differences between sinus pressure and toothaches. Here, we will break down what sinus pressure and pain is caused by, and how that relates to toothaches. We will also find out how to differentiate between the two, so keep reading for more info!
The sinuses are hollow chambers in the skull. They give our voices resonance, and air passes through them on the way to the lungs. When bacteria become lodged and grow in these spaces, it causes a sinus infection. These infections are typically viral, but can also be caused by nasa polyps, allergies, a deviated septum, or a tooth infection.
When the sinuses do become infected, the signs will include:
- Pain from swelling, congestion, and inflammation. This will manifest as an aching pressure in the nose, jaws, forehead, and/or eyes. This can sometimes feel like a headache.
- Discharge running out of the nose, down the back of the throat, and sometimes out of the eyes.
- A sore throat and/or cough.
Now, with all these factors that come with sinus pressure… The teeth can feel some of the pain because the maxillary sinus cavity is directly above the upper back teeth. So any swelling and inflammation can affect the roots of these teeth, causing toothaches. This is actually very common, but can be worrisome if you can’t tell the difference.
There are conditions that will cause toothaches. These are grinding, periodontal disease, cavities, abscesses, and/or braces. If you keep up with your dental appointments, you will usually be aware of these issues ahead of time. However, in the case of not having many sinus infection symptoms or tooth issues, but still feeling that pain… Here’s how to tell the difference!
Usually, a sinus infection will be a dull, aching, coming and going type of pain. Moving your head around may aggravate this feeling. The area of the pain will typically be over a large area as well.
With a toothache, the pain tends to be sharp and centralized while getting continually worse over time. You may also be able to see redness or swelling around the area that hurts.
Of course, it’s important to consult with your dentist and/or primary care physician if you are feeling concerned or have an unknown issue arise. Your dentist can give you a definitive answer to whether your pain is simply sinus pressure or a toothache by giving you a dental radiograph. You’ll then be able to take the proper next steps for what’s going on. Be sure to keep up with your dental appointments and daily oral health!