Do you ever get a throbbing pain in your teeth and wonder what is causing it? Well, you’re not alone. Many people experience toothaches that are difficult to diagnose. While many toothaches are due to dental problems, there is a possibility that the pain you are feeling is actually caused by sinus pressure. In this blog post, we will discuss the relationship between sinus pressure and toothaches. We will also describe the anatomy of the sinuses and teeth, and discuss the differences between a toothache caused by sinus pressure and a toothache caused by a dental issue.
How are the sinuses and teeth related?
To understand how your sinuses can cause pain in your teeth, we first need to explore basic facial anatomy. The sinuses are a series of air-filled cavities that are located in the bones of your face. The maxillary sinuses, which are located in the cheekbones, are the most commonly affected by sinus pressure. The maxillary sinuses also sit directly above your upper premolars and molars. The roots of your upper teeth extend just underneath these sinuses, which means that any pressure in this area can apply pressure to the tooth roots and cause pain to be felt in your teeth.
What are the differences between a toothache caused by sinus pressure and a toothache caused by a dental issue?
At this point, you are probably wondering what is the difference between a sinus toothache and a dental toothache. You may be especially interested in this difference if you experience frequent sinus problems and/or toothaches. The best way to know for sure is to schedule a dental examination. In the meantime, here are some quick ways to distinguish one type of toothache from the other:
A toothache that is caused by sinus pressure will typically be throbbing in nature and it will be located within your molars or premolars. It may even feel like more than one tooth is affected because of the pressure being exerted on multiple tooth roots. The pain also tends to get worse when you lean your head forward or blow your nose, since this also increases sinus pressure.
Sinus toothaches are also usually accompanied by other symptoms of a sinus infection such as fever, nasal congestion, and facial swelling. However, you can also experience sinus pressure due to colds or flus, nasal polyps, or allergies. To relieve sinus pressure, you can try inhaling hot steam from the shower or a bowl of hot water. If this relieves your tooth pain, then your toothache is likely caused by sinus pressure.
In contrast, a toothache that is caused by a dental issue will typically be sharp and stabbing in nature. The pain will be generally localized to a single tooth, although it may also be felt in the gums. Oftentimes, a sore tooth will be accompanied by tooth sensitivity to hot, cold, or sweet foods and beverages. Although the pain may come and go, it won’t respond to activities that increase or decrease sinus pressure. This type of toothache requires a dental appointment to determine its exact cause.
In this blog post, we discussed how the teeth and sinuses are related and also described some quick ways to distinguish between different types of pain in your mouth. If you’re experiencing any type of dental issue that doesn’t respond to increased or decreased sinus pressure, please schedule an appointment with us–we’ll be happy to help identify the cause!
Dr. Alina Huang has been practicing dentistry in Manhattan for the last eight years. She was born in New York City, and raised in California where she received her Bachelor’s degree at UCLA, and her D.D.S. at the University of the Pacific in San Francisco. She then made her return to NYC where she completed her General Practice Residency at Montefiore Medical Center and has been working in private practice ever since. She continues her learning by attending courses to stay current with the latest advancements in dentistry and refine her skills.