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Can Dental Issues Cause Sinus Problems?

Woman with sinus pain.

It’s that time of year: warmer weather, flowers blooming, and the sniffing and sneezing that comes with allergy season.

When dealing with sinus discomfort, it's common to attribute the symptoms to allergies, colds, or other environmental factors. However, many are surprised to learn that dental issues can also significantly impact sinus health. Let’s take a look at how dental problems can lead to sinus issues, what symptoms to look out for, and how to prevent these problems.

The Connection

Your maxillary sinuses (the ones behind your cheekbones) sit directly on top of your tooth roots. And, due to their close proximity, any infection in the upper tooth roots can easily spread to the sinuses.

Common Dental Causes of Sinus Issues

Wondering if sinus symptoms really are allergy-related? Here are some of the surprising ways your oral health can impact your sinuses.

Tooth Abscesses

An abscess in the upper teeth can cause infection to spread to the sinus cavity, leading to sinusitis. This can be a dangerous situation. A tooth abscess is an emergency. Severe tooth or facial pain, especially when accompanied by a fever, is a sign to seek medical attention immediately.

Gum Disease

Gum disease or periodontitis can lead to deterioration of the gums and bones around the teeth, including those that form the floor of the sinus. The resulting inflammation can mean pressure, irritaition, and pain for the nearby sinuses.

Impacted Wisdom Teeth

An impacted tooth happens when a tooth does not grow out of the gum as intended. Instead, it becomes stuck, sometimes growing at an odd angle. Impacted or partially erupted wisdom teeth in the upper jaw can be painful. It can put pressure on neighboring teeth, the jaw, and even the sinuses.

Symptoms to Watch For

Recognizing the symptoms that link dental issues to sinus problems can lead to quicker diagnosis and treatment. Symptoms that might indicate a dental origin of sinus problems include:

Treatment

Diagnosing sinus issues caused by dental problems involves a comprehensive examination by both your dentist and possibly an ear, nose, and throat specialist. Dental x-rays or a CT scan can help identify the source of the infection. If a dental issue is suspected to be the cause of your sinus problems, your dentist will be able to provide treatments to address the infection and alleviate your symptoms.

Prevention

The best way to prevent dental problems that could lead to sinus issues is to keep your teeth as healthy as possible. That means regular dental check-ups, brushing twice a day, and daily flossing. Additionally, addressing dental problems early, before they escalate to affect your sinuses, can save you a significant amount of discomfort and health issues.

If you're experiencing persistent sinus issues, consider consulting your ENT and your dentist to rule out possible dental causes. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.

 

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