The Surprising Relationship between a Toothache and Stuffy Nose

If you are constantly battling sinus infections, a periodontist might be the last specialist that you would think to contact. However, once you understand the connection between certain dental problems and sinus problems, you might just reconsider your treatment options.

An abscess that is associated with an infected upper tooth can lead to a sinus infection, and a sinus infection can sometimes disguise itself as a toothache. Due to our natural anatomy, there are hollow sinus cavities located just above the roots of the upper molars. These sinuses help to control the flow of air that we breathe into our lungs.

Occasionally, bacteria may enter these empty chambers and multiply, creating an infection.

As our bodies attempt to fight the infection, inflammation, pressure, and pain may develop. In many cases the discomfort may be so severe that it can be hard to determine the exact source of the pain. You might feel as though the areas around the sinuses are hurting also—including the roots of the neighboring teeth!

It’s easy to understand how a bacterial infection within the sinus cavity can cause discomfort, but how are bacteria able to enter the sinuses in the first place? Sometimes, the infection from an abscessed tooth can spread to infect the surrounding area—including the upper sinuses! In fact, the roots of an upper molar may actually extend through the wall of the sinus, right into the sinus chamber.

The bacteria from the tooth, if untreated, can multiply within the chamber to create a secondary infection. Try as you might to control a sinus infection, your efforts might be frustrating and unsuccessful unless you are also able to control your dental infection.

An abscess involving the teeth or gums might not always cause pain. In many cases, the pain may feel dull or it may seem to start and stop. If you have experienced any discomfort, whether you consider it mild or severe, contact our periodontal team today for a professional examination.

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