A Toothache Is Not Always About Your Teeth

A Toothache Is Not Always About Your Teeth

Who is the person you naturally want to see when you’ve got toothache? Your dentist of course! But what if your toothache is not caused by your teeth at all but by your sinuses?

How could this be?
Strange as it may seem, our sinuses could actually cause a pain that may be mistaken for toothache. This happens when the sinuses become inflamed due to an infection or an allergy causing a condition called sinusitis that could eventually lead to dental issues.

What is the function of the sinuses?
Each of us has a total of 4 pairs of sinuses, with slight differences depending on the individual. These are the frontal sinuses located just above the eyes, the maxillary sinuses located inside each cheek bone right above the upper teeth, the ethmoid sinuses right behind the nose bridge and the sphenoid sinuses that is at the back of the nose below the brain. They serve to filter and humidify the air that you breathe, protect the eyes and guard dental roots against temperature changes.
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How do the sinuses cause dental problems?
When the maxillary sinuses are inflamed due to an infection, they tend to press down on dental roots.

As they put pressure on the dental roots, they cause what is called diffuse pain that shifts in location and intensity.

This pain is difficult to localize to a single tooth.

The sinuses may even expand to areas where a tooth may be missing and may require surgical intermission to allow dental implants in the future.


Other than dental pain, a sinusitis may have the following symptoms:

  • Headache
  • Nasal discharge
  • Congestion/Cough
  • Sinus inflammation
  • Fever
  • When these symptoms appear, the following home remedies may help:

  • Moist heat (using a small towel for example) and applied to the face and forehead.
  • Taking decongestants to ease nasal congestion.
  • Use of saltwater nasal washes.
  • Keeping a humidifier running.

In case the symptoms persist, it is best to see your doctor because a bacterial infection may already
be happening and an antibiotic may need to be prescribed.

The next time you feel a pain and some pressure in your upper back molars and there seems to be no dental reason behind it, it may be your sinuses that’s causing it and it is your ENT you need to see.

Contact our office to schedule your appointment, we offer same day emergency appointments for those needing immediate care Ph: (561) 855-4703.

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