A Case Of Sinusitis Caused By A Tooth
This person had chronic sinusitis for the last few years, that started shortly after she had a metal post put into one of her upper back teeth. Upon looking at her x-rays I noticed that the metal post that was put in one of her upper teeth looked like it had pierced through edge of the tooth and gone slightly into the bone. This caused an abscess that was leaking into her sinus.
Heres the x-ray of her upper right teeth:
To make the x-ray below easier to see, the tooth is green, the infection is red, and the sinuses are blue:
Sadly, due to the fracture in the tooth caused by the large metal post, the tooth had to be extracted.
The oral surgeon who extracted the tooth told me that the tip of the tooth broke off just above the metal post, causing the root fragment to get pushed into the sinuses during extraction. He had to open up the sinus to retrieve the root and he was able to suction out a lot of the infection he said it was a pretty bad infection.
Sinus Infections/inflammation Causing Teeth Symptoms
The connection can go both ways. When someone has perfectly healthy teeth, they can experience the symptoms of a toothache because of sinus problems. As infection or inflammation develops in the sinus cavities, the mucus and inflammatory matter settles in the floor of the sinus cavity due to gravity. This puts it directly on top of the teeth roots.
As pressure builds in the sinus cavity, it may put pressure on the roots of the teeth and the nerves around them. People with sinusitis-referred dental pain often experience tenderness on chewing, swelling in the gums above the roots, and sensitivity to cold.
Can Tmj Cause Sinus Problems
While TMJ wont cause sinus problems, the symptoms of existing sinus problems can make TMJD worse. Nasal congestion and bruxism can trigger snoring and restless sleep. Sinusitis can cause breathing problems because of congestion, leading you to breathe with your mouth open. This pulls the jaw out of its natural resting position, which can stress the jaw and contribute to bruxism, or teeth grinding. Sinus issues like allergies can also cause sneezing, an action that can cause your jaw to click or pop, or even dislocate entirely.
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Root Canals Dont Cause Sinus Infections But An Infected Tooth Can
The short answer is no. Root canals do not cause sinus infections. However, there is a complication. While root canals dont cause sinus infections, an infected tooth can. How?
Well, its actually simple to understand with a little bit of knowledge about your anatomy. The roots of your upper teeth, particularly your rear teeth like the molars and premolars, are very deep. They are extremely close to the sinus lining, of the maxillary sinuses. This is the mucous membrane that surrounds your sinuses.
This means that if you have a deep, severe tooth infection that reaches into the bottom of the roots of your teeth, the bacteria can spread from the teeth into the sinus lining. This is known as maxillary sinusitis of endodontic origin, meaning the infection came from the tooth.
This is why some people may think that root canals can cause sinus infections. Because root canals are used to treat infected teeth, a patient who gets a root canal may think that their procedure caused their sinuses to become infected.
But in reality, the sinus infection was likely present before the root canal was performed. And, in most cases, your body will be able to fight off this infection without any issues, though you should see a doctor if your sinus infection lasts more than 10 days. Antibiotics may be needed to eliminate it.
More Questions About Teeth And Sinuses
Luckily, we have all of the specialties that would deal with this scenario under one roof Endodontics, and Oral Surgery. Call Empire Dental Specialty Group today to schedule a consultation with one or all of our experts! We can answer any question you have about the teeth and their relationships with sinuses. We will assess your individual situation and address any concerns we see.
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Whats The Difference Between Sinusitis And Rhinitis In Dogs
Sinusitis is the inflammation of the lining of the sinuses. The sinuses are air-filled, bony cavities that connect with the nasal cavities. During a sinus infection, these cavities become filled with fluid and develop inflamed lining.
Rhinitis is the inflammation of the mucous membranes of the nose. If both the nose and sinus cavities are affected, the term rhinosinusitis is used.
Both of these conditions can occur alone, or as part of an upper respiratory infection. They also appear similar in dogs, causing many of the same signs of illness.
About 35 million Americans suffer from a sinus infection or sinusitis every year. Sinusitis is an inflammation, or swelling, of the tissue lining the sinuses that leads to an infection. It can result in mucus build-up and pain. If youve ever experienced a sinus infection, then you know just how unpleasant it can be much worse than a stuffy nose. While in most cases, a sinus infection will simply leave you running to find a decongestant, in the worst cases, it can lead to surgery to remove an abscess that has developed or the obstruction of the sinuses.
In the United States, sinusitis is the fifth most common medical diagnosis for which antibiotics are prescribed these days. The management of acute and chronic sinusitis is also costing this country over $11 billion every year. That doesnt even include the economic impact of lost work time due to illness.
Teeth Can Cause Sinus Problems
When the EENT physician can find the cause of sinus problems, try calling a dentist. Abscessed teeth can cause sinus problems.
In a recent case study, a patient was having a lot of problems in her sinuses. The medical EENT physician did a thorough investigation of the patients sinuses along with blood tests. He finally correctly concluded that the problems were coming from a tooth, an upper molar.
The roots of the upper teeth are right next to the sinuses, from an anatomical standpoint. So, for example, if you have a sinus infection, the upper teeth can hurt from any movement like jogging. Ive personally had this experience while having sinus problems. Im sure glad I knew about this connection.
The endodontist performed an evaluation on the patient. He noticed the abscess on the x-ray. This indicated that the nerve inside the tooth is dead. The recommended treatment is to have root canal therapyperformed on the afflicted tooth. This treatment was in fact performed and the symptoms were ameliorated.
As you might surmise, sinus problems can be a tricky business in the diagnosis, especially when you consider that the dentist usually looks in the mouth and the medical doctor rarely looks there. The evaluation has to start somewhere, and eventually well get to the teeth if needed.
Act quickly and visit your dentist if an unusual condition is developing.
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Can Tooth Decay Affect Your Ears
Tooth decay and gum disease are caused by pathogenic bacteria, which can enter the bloodstream and threaten a persons overall health. Harmful bacteria that originate in your mouth can also inflame and narrow the arteries and blood vessels located in your ears and brain, which are crucial to your hearing health.
How Can You Tell The Difference Between An Abscessed Tooth And A Sinus Infection
In the case of an infection in more than one sinus cavity, you may experience additional pain behind your nose and eyes as well. Pain in the sinuses is typically dull, continuous, and increases in intensity when an abscessed tooth is present. A tooth that has been abscessed will likely cause you to feel a sharp pain if you touch it.
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Sinus Infection Complications Affecting The Eye
The sinuses are located above, below, behind, and between the eyes, so it is possible for a sinus infection to spread to the eye socket, but this is a very rareand very seriouscomplication, potentially leading to permanent vision damage or blindness. Pain around the eye, or even behind it, isnt necessarily a sign of a sinus infection that has moved to the eye. Because of the location of the sinuses, its normal to feel pressure and discomfort around the eyes.
If you have or have had a sinus infection, and you experience any of the following symptoms, it could be a sign the infection has spread to the eye:
- Sudden, blurry vision
- Eye redness,
- Swelling around the eyes.
If you have any of these symptoms, its a good idea to contact a doctor right away, as emergency IV antibiotics may be needed, in addition to other treatments.
Sinusitis And Tooth Infections
Dear Doctor, I get sinus infections every year. My doctor suggested I see an endodontist. How could seeing a dental specialist help with my problem?
Dear Bradon,I am glad to hear that your doctor recommended seeing an endodontist. An endodontist is a dentist who specializes in treating infections inside the teeth. All too often, a possible connection between chronic sinus problems and tooth infections is overlooked. Yet it is very easy for a bacterial infection that starts in an upper back tooth to spread into the sinus. To understand how this happens, let’s take a look at how a tooth can get infected in the first place.
|A cat scan x-ray reveals a bacterial infection inside the root canals of an upper molar from tooth decay that has spread into the sinus. This condition is called Maxillary Sinusitis of Endodontic Origin .|
Root canal treatment must be done meticulously for it to workand this is not an easy task. That’s especially true for the upper molar teeth which can have “extra” canals that are often difficult to detect and as a result are often not cleaned properly. Occasionally, an infection from one of these overlooked canals will emerge months or even years after the original root canal treatment, and a root canal re-treatment may be required. Endodontists are trained to deal with complex teeth and confusing diagnoses and are usually the best option to perform remediation procedures such as re-treatment.
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Can Wisdom Teeth Cause Sinus Infection
If wisdom teeth can cause sinus pain, does it mean that they can actually cause a sinus infection? In some cases, the answer is yes.
This can happen when an infection from your tooth spreads to the nearby sinuses. Symptoms of a sinus infection include fever, pain, bad breath, nasal discharge and swelling in your cheekbones. You may also experience an increase in pain when you lie down. If you think you have a sinus infection caused by your wisdom teeth, it’s important to seek treatment immediately.
Your Root Canal May Not Have Been Successful
An infected tooth can actually cause sinusitis because the roots of your upper teeth are very close to your sinuses. If your root canal is not successful and your tooth remains infected, it may cause sinusitis as it gets worse. This is known as âsinusitis of dental origin.â The bacteria may spread from the roots of your upper teeth into your sinuses, causing a sinus infection.
If your tooth continues to hurt and feel uncomfortable after your root canal for more than a day or two and you also notice sinusitis-like symptoms, itâs possible that the treatment was not entirely successful. Root canal re-treatment may be required to remove the remaining infected material from your tooth.
What Is An Oro
An oro-antral communication is a physical hole between the mouth and sinus . This occurs when the thin layer of separating tissue is either broken by the force of extraction or destroyed by an infection.
This creates a dangerous situation, which allows bacteria, mucus, and food debris to move back and forth between the mouth and sinus. Both the mouth and sinus cavities contain bacteria, but they are distinct strains, and they should remain separate.
Some oro-antral communications can heal on their own, and others require closure with oral surgery. Close monitoring is necessary to ensure that the communication re-seals as quickly as possible.
Is It Sinus Or Tooth Pain
Its springthat beautiful time of year when everything is in bloom. But for allergy sufferers, spring may forecast a season of struggle and discomfort. Spring allergens can cause nasal inflammation and lead to sinus infections.
What does all of this have to do with your teeth? Plenty. On top of everything else a sinus infection brings, it can also cause tooth pain. How do you know if the pain youre feeling is from a sinus infection or a tooth that needs attention? Read on to find out.
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Root Canals Do Not Cause Sinus Infections But Can Cause Similar Symptoms
Root canals do not cause sinus infections. However, if youre still suffering from symptoms that seem like sinusitis after a root canal, its likely that you have whats known as a sinus communication.
This means that there is a small hole in your sinus lining near the root of your treated tooth. Your sinus lining is very close to the root of your tooth and it is very delicate and thin. Its possible that your dentist may have punctured it during the root canal process.
The symptoms of this are quite similar to a sinus infection, which is why some people think that it may be possible for a root canal to cause a sinus infection. You may notice things like:
- Congestion and sinus pressure
- Runny nose
- Post-nasal drip
However, there are some symptoms of a sinus communication that are not common in sinusitis, such as:
- Feeling fluid go into your nose when drinking
- Feeling air go across the socket of your tooth when you breathe
The good news is that sinus communications will heal on their own, usually in just a few days. However, you should contact a dentist like Dr. McCue if you notice symptoms that persist for 1-2 weeks or more. You may need further help to treat your sinus communication.
How Often Do Teeth Cause Sinus Infections
Hupps Contemporary Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery textbook states, Periapical or periodontal infections of maxillary posterior teeth may erode superiorly through the floor of the maxillary sinus. Approximately 20% of cases of maxillary sinusitis are odontogenic.
Basically, thats a fancy way of saying that tooth and gum abscesses of the upper back teeth can eat through the bone and invade the maxillary sinus. It further says that about 20% of all maxillary sinus infections are caused by tooth infections, rather than another cause.
Below, youll find a couple of examples of how tooth infections or abscesses can cause sinus infections.
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Can A Tooth Infection Spread To Your Sinuses
While a sinus infection and tooth pain normally arise in that order, a tooth infection can, in fact, lead to sinus inflammation pain. In rare cases, bacteria, viruses, or fungi in a tooth abscess can spread to the brain and create life-threatening complications.
For this reason, we often recommend erring on the side of caution when it comes to sinus infections and tooth pain if you think the tooth pain youre experiencing goes beyond what youd expect during a sinus infection, consult your dentist.
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What Does A Sinus Toothache Feel Like
A sinus toothache will often feel much like the pressure of other areas experiencing discomfort in the sinuses. It may even be a throbbing, intense pain, because of the pressure on the nerves to the teeth. Typically, tooth pain due to sinus infection is not severe, although it can be a constant ache causing a great deal of discomfort.
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Sinus Tooth Pain Relief
If your sinus tooth pain is caused by sinusitis, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics or antihistamines. If it is caused by bruxism, your dentist may recommend wearing a nighttime mouth guard. Sinus tooth pain caused by tooth damage or tooth decay will need additional dental care, such as filling a cavity.
What Does Tooth Infection Look Like
Your gum is swollen and filled with pus. The raised swelling may look similar to a pimple around your infected tooth. An open pimple called a draining fistula, ruptures and releases pus, which is a sure-fire sign of an infection. A bad taste in your mouth or bad breath may also be an indicator of an infection.
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Im Having Sinus Problems After A Root Canal What Does It Mean
If youâve recently had a root canal, but now youâre having sinus problems like post-nasal drip, sinus pressure and congestion and other similar symptoms, you may be wondering if this is related to your recent treatment. Learn everything you need to know about sinus problems after a root canal from Sarasota Bay Dental now.