What Does a Sinus Toothache Feel Like?

Woman with toothache

Toothaches can cause severe discomfort and prevent you from eating or speaking. While many toothaches are typically due to oral health issues like cavities or gum disease, in some cases, your toothache may be caused by problems with your sinuses.

Discover how your sinuses can cause pain in your teeth and how to treat the cause and manage the symptoms of a sinus toothache to alleviate discomfort.

What Causes a Sinus Toothache?

The primary cause of a sinus toothache is sinusitis. The sinus cavities are located behind your eyes, cheekbones, and forehead. Their purpose is to warm and moisten the air you breathe as it enters your body through your nose and mouth. Mucus is produced by your sinus cavities and acts as a type of filtering mechanism that prevents dust and other debris from being inhaled into your lungs.

Sinusitis occurs when the tissue that lines the sinus cavities becomes blocked by fluid and debris. This can cause congestion, creating pressure and leading to pain in the upper dental arch and jawbone. Sinusitis is often caused by allergies or bacterial or viral infections like influenza.

The roots of the teeth in your upper dental arch are closely located to the maxillary sinus cavities (found in the cheeks under the eyes). The increased pressure in the sinuses caused by the inflammation and blockage can place pressure on the tooth roots, causing pain.

Pain in the maxillary sinuses from sinusitis can also radiate toward your teeth. Although your teeth may not be directly affected by your sinus infection, you can still feel the pain in your teeth.

Symptoms of Sinus Issues

In addition to experiencing a toothache due to sinus pressure, there are several other symptoms to be aware of that could indicate that a sinus infection is causing your toothache.

  • Sore throat or a hoarse voice
  • Tenderness or pressure around the eyes, cheeks, or the forehead
  • Post-nasal drip
  • Nasal congestion
  • Nasal mucus that is discolored
  • Bad breath
  • Pain emanating from one or both ears
  • Your ability to smell and taste is muted

Diagnosing and Treating Sinus Toothaches

If you are experiencing what feels like a toothache, the first thing to do is consult with your dentist. They can perform a thorough oral examination to rule out other toothache causes by looking for tooth cavities, gum disease, or other infections like an abscess or cyst.

If your dentist rules out oral health issues as the cause of your tooth pain, visit your primary care physician for treatment. They may prescribe decongestants, nasal sprays, or antibiotics to treat the cause of your sinus infection. They may also refer you to an ENT specialist to rule out nasal polyps or a deviated septum as the cause of the sinus infection.

You can manage symptoms of a sinus infection at home with warm compresses to your cheeks and nose, inhalation steam baths, or a saline nasal rinse. Rinse your mouth with a warm salt water solution and OTC pain relievers to alleviate toothache.

Support Your Oral Health With Hinsdale Dental

If you experience sinus pressure accompanied by a toothache, contact Hinsdale Dental for a check-up and exam. Call us at (630) 323-5200 or use our convenient online booking form.

Return to Blog