Dr Hartman in Huntingdon County talks about whether it’s a toothache, or Sinusitis

Sinusitis is important to dental patients because the symptoms of maxillary sinusitis can mimic pain of a dental origin. There are 7 Sinuses, which are air filled cavities in the head. Sinusitis, an inflammation of the sinuses, is a common dilemma, and the fifth most diagnosed problem requiring antibiotics to be prescribed. Causes of sinusitis include allergic responses, chemical irritation, bacterial infections, and an infected maxillary tooth which may feel like a toothache.

To decide which whether you have a toothache or sinusitis, let’s look at some facts on both. The sinus that most commonly becomes infected is the maxillary sinus due to its prominent exposure to the environment and the anatomy that allows drainage of the cavity. In the maxillary sinus the mucus must move upward to drain from the sinus and to the nasal cavity. When a person is standing the maxillary sinus does not drain easily. This drainage pattern makes the maxillary sinus prone to infection. These infections can cause pain in the upper teeth. Toothache pain is often the symptom that brings patients to the office after the “cold” has gone away.

Symptoms of sinusitis include tenderness over sinuses, nasal congestion, headache, foul odor, and discharge down the back of the throat, fever, and toothache pain. The possible sources of pain in the maxillary area other then sinusitis include TMJ, bruxism (clenching teeth), tooth fracture, an infected root canal, or periodontal infection (infection in the gums).

When the top sinuses are filled with fluid from inflammation (sinusitis) or infection, the fluid pressure can cause your upper back teeth to ache. The pain can be spontaneous and it may feel like air pressurizing above your upper back teeth and these teeth may feel sensitive to chewing like a toothache . If you feel pain like this, please call for an appointment. An x-ray and other tests will assist your dentist to diagnose the source of pain. If the pain is a toothache your dentist will address the issue, although if the pain is from an inflamed sinus cavity your dentist will refer you to your family physician.

For more questions or concerns about whether you have a Toothache or Sinusitis please contact us or visit our website.  Smiles for Life Total Health Dentistry, office of Dr Jeffery Hartman at 814-643-9414, and our staff will be pleased to assist your needs.

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