A stuffy nose, a fever . . . and a toothache?! If you’ve ever experienced a sinus infection that came with a side of mouth pain, you might have wondered if they were connected. Can a sinus infection make your teeth hurt?
Can a Sinus Infection Make Your Teeth Hurt?
It’s hard to imagine a way to get sick that’s less pleasant than a sinus infection. When you’re suffering from a sinus infection, you have to deal with all the usual suspects: a throat ache, a stuffy nose, a foggy head, and general aches and exhaustion. However, did you know that a sinus infection can come with other less-common symptoms as well? For example, some people who have recurrent sinus infections complain about aches in their jaw and teeth. Is this a new dental problem, or just one more downside to having a bad cold or two? Can a sinus infection make your teeth hurt?
The Connection Between Sinus Infections and Toothaches
The simple answer is yes, a sinus infection can make your teeth hurt. To understand why, it’s a good idea to learn about the anatomy of the face. Your sinuses are essentially large cavities in the back of your head that are connected to your nose and jaw. When you don’t have a sinus infection, these cavities help keep your nose and inner ear clean and functional. You don’t notice your sinuses when they’re doing their job correctly.
Unfortunately, when something goes wrong in your sinuses, it’s impossible to ignore. A sinus infection can lead to inflamed, sensitive sinuses that react with pain to everyday activities. Since the upper jaw and the sinuses are basically side-by-side, pain in the sinuses can radiate outwards into the upper jaw, particularly in the back teeth. Toothaches and sinus infections are a common pairing for many.
Can a Toothache from a Sinus Infection Indicate a Dental Issue?
If you pay attention to your oral hygiene, you know that unexpected dental pain usually means it’s time to make a dentist appointment. However, a sinus infection is one of those rare cases where it may not be obvious whether you should see a dentist or not. How can you tell if tooth pain is caused by a sinus infection, a cavity, or both?
In order to decide whether to see the dentist or not, it’s important to pay attention to the symptoms you’re experiencing. For example, if you have a severe cold accompanied by jaw pain but both resolve themselves within a matter of days, you probably don’t need to worry about contacting your dentist. However, if your dental pain remains long after you recover from your sinus infection, it’s a good idea to make an appointment sooner rather than later.
It’s also important to note that dental symptoms can be caused by sinus infections, but persistent sinusitis can also be caused by dental issues. If you have unexplained aches in your teeth, unresolved sinus issues could be at play, and vice versa. If you have frequent sinus infections, let your dentist know. They may request an x-ray in order to look for dental issues that could be caused by your sinuses. They’ll also be able to check for gum disease, cavities, and other problems that could be making the issue worse. If they are unable to find a connection, they may refer you to a sinus specialist for further investigation.
Ultimately, you will be in the best position to know whether your tooth pain is a problem if you’re already seeing your dentist as scheduled. If you’re under the weather on the day of your appointment, be sure to reschedule once you’re feeling better, but don’t skip it. Instead, go in as soon as you are able, and be sure to ask your dentist about any unexpected dental pain you experience.
Can a sinus infection make your teeth hurt? Unfortunately, the answer is yes, but it doesn’t always mean a cavity is lurking. Be sure to keep up with your regular dental appointments so you know the difference between a sinus infection and a dental emergency.
Looking for a new dentist? Contact Wilkinson Dental if you live in or near Springfield, Missouri. You can request an appointment online or give us a call at 417-882-8222. We look forward to hearing from you!