Inflammation or swelling of sinus is called sinusitis (sinus infection). Sinusitis is often accompanied by a toothache.

How Is Sinusitis Related to Toothache?

Sinuses are air-filled sacs (4 in number) present in your facial bones. They are located near your eyes, forehead, and behind your cheekbones. Sinuses help in warming, moistening, and filtering the air in the nasal cavity and also produce mucus, which gets drained into the nasal cavity. Blockage of the draining of mucus leads to filling of sinuses with mucus. This leads to sinusitis and building up of pressure in the sinuses, which in turn causes pain in the upper rear teeth which are in close proximity with the sinus (toothache). Specifically, this is due to the pressure and pain in the maxillary sinuses located behind the cheekbones. 

Sinus tooth pain is often confused with other causes of tooth pain, including gum disease, tooth decay, or an impacted wisdom tooth. Your dentist will examine and get X-rays done to confirm the cause of your toothache.

What Causes Sinus Infection?

A sinus infection occurs when bacteria from the nose enters the sinuses. It can be due to:

  • Common cold 

  • Nasal polyps (growths that blocks the sinuses)

  • Respiratory tract infections

  • Deviated nasal septum (a condition in which the nasal structure that separates the nostril and nasal cavity becomes crooked)

  • Allergies

  • Immune system deficiency or medicines that suppress the immune system 

Symptoms of Sinusitis

  • Fever

  • Stuffy nose and nasal discharge

  • Bad breath

  • Pain that is worse when sitting up than when lying down

  • Tenderness, redness, or swelling in the cheekbones

  • Cough

  • Nasal intonation (nasal speech which is caused by too little air entering the nose)

One of the most common side effects of sinus infection is mouth breathing. Mouth breathing makes the mouth dry leading to gum diseases and tooth decay.

Treatment for Sinusitis

Some home remedies which can ease the symptoms of sinusitis are: 

  • Drink plenty of water: Staying hydrated helps to relieve sinus congestion. This reduces pressure in the sinuses, thins the mucus, and clears blockage in the sinuses.

  • Rinse your nose with saline: This helps in warming and moistening your sinuses and helps in draining the discharge.

  • Steam inhalation: It can help to relieve sinus pressure and clear the nasal passages. A hot steam shower can also be helpful.

Medications that are used to treat sinusitis include nasal decongestants, anti-allergics, mucus thinning medicines, and nasal sprays. Your doctor may prescribe any of the above or more depending on your condition.

Toothache Treatment 

Following are a few remedies that may help relieve your toothache:

  • Saltwater rinse is an effective way for relieving toothache. Rinse your mouth with warm salt water for about 30 seconds, several times a day. This can help to relieve inflammation. 

  • Use a heating pad or a cold pack as advised by your dentist on the affected area for some time. This will reduce the pain and swelling.  

  • Over-The-Counter (OTC) pain relievers, topical numbing paste, and gels can be useful to relieve pain.

Medications should be only taken after consultation with your doctor.

As these remedies provide only temporary relief, it is advised to consult your doctor/dentist for the appropriate treatment.

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