Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Can Infected Teeth Cause Sinus Problems

Your Root Canal May Not Have Been Successful

Can Sinus Infection cause toothache? – Dr. Sangeeta Honnur

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.

Sinusitis Tooth Pain Relief

If you cant make it to the doctor or dentist right away, you can try relieving your sinusitis tooth pain with these methods:

  • Use a saline solution to rinse your sinuses. Doing this will remove moisture and discharge from your sinuses.
  • Eat foods rich in vitamin C, calcium, and Omega 3 fatty acids.
  • Drink a lot of water and fluids to thin the mucus in your sinuses.
  • When sleeping, switch on a humidifier.
  • Take over-the-counter expectorants and decongestants.
  • Eat spicy foods.
  • When sleeping or resting, keep your head in a tilted position.
  • Brush the painful teeth using a gentle brush and a toothpaste that is made for sensitive teeth.

Can Teeth Problems Cause Sinus Infection

Sometimes, a tooth infection can lead to a sinus infection, called odontogenic sinusitis. Odontogenic sinusitis can be caused by trauma, infection, decay, or abscess in the maxillary teeth, with infection spreading from the teeth to the maxillary sinuses. This can happen when the roots of the teeth are very close to, or even protruding into the maxillary sinus. This proximity would generally not be an issue unless the tooth becomes infected.

Sometimes recurring sinus infections can even be a sign of tooth decay. When tooth decay causes a sinus infection, its called Maxillary Sinusitis of Endodontic Origin . In some cases of MSEO, the patient may not feel sensitivity or discomfort in the teeth, so it can be difficult to diagnose.

If problems of the teeth are causing sinus infection, simply treating the symptoms of sinus infection wont resolve the issue. If the source of the infection is with the tooth, you will have to have a dentist or endodontist provide treatment. If the sinus infections persist after managing dental issues, its a good idea to consult an ENT.

Don’t Miss: How To Get Rid Of A Sinus Infection Without Medication

A Case Of An Abscess Close To The Sinuses

Here is an x-ray of a tooth that had a root canal and crown done previously, but the infection at the roots had never quite healed. I have outlined some of the important structures below for those of you who are not accustomed to reading x-rays.

I colored the sinus blue and the tooth infection red in the x-ray below:

As you can imagine, the infection and the sinuses do overlap, as you can see in the x-ray below.

Although it looks like the sinus and the infection are overlapped on the x-ray, it doesnt necessarily mean that the infection has broken into the sinus and causing a sinus infection. It could be that the abscess is either in front of or behind the sinus in this x-ray, because the x-ray is simply a snapshot of the whole area and doesnt tell us if things are closer to the front or the back.

If you take a look at the x-ray above, you can see how close the maxillary sinus is to the upper teeth. Sometimes there is only a thin membrane separating the roots of the upper teeth and the sinus, making it very easy for an infection to travel into the sinuses.

Although this person wasnt exhibiting any symptoms of a sinus infection, but the x-rays do a good job of showing just how close the abscess is to the sinus.

Tooth Infections And Sinus Problems

How Are Sinus Infections Related To Toothache? : Dental ...
  • Blog
  • Tooth Infections and Sinus Problems
  • TOOTH DECAY, CAVITIES, AND INFECTIONS can be linked to a variety of other issues, including headaches and sinus problems. Sometimes, sinus problems may even be the only symptoms the patient will experience, so they go to their doctor instead of the endodontist, and the condition is treated as something else.

    Recommended Reading: Prescription Nasal Spray For Sinus Infection

    Can Sinus Pressure Make Your Teeth Hurt

    It is possible to have a toothache caused by a sinus infection . It is fairly common for sinus conditions to cause pain in the upper back teeth. There are two empty spaces in your skull called sinuses, which connect to your nasal cavity. In the case of sinusitis, the tissues in these spaces become inflamed, which can cause pain in the patient.

    Infected Teeth Not Root Canals Cause Sinus Infections

    As mentioned, root canals are not the cause of sinus infections. So why would you get a sinus infection after you get root canal therapy?

    Well, the chances are that if this happens to you, itâs not because of the root canal, but due to the tooth infection that has required you to get treatment with a root canal. Root canals donât cause sinusitis, but tooth infections do.

    Why? It comes down to the anatomy of the mouth. Your upper teeth, and the upper molars in particular, have deep roots that reach into your jaw bone. They actually are located very close to the sinus lining.

    So if your tooth becomes infected and the roots of the teeth are full of bacteria, this bacteria can easily spread through the tooth into the maxillary sinuses, which are located right above the teeth.

    This, in turn, causes a sinus infection. This is common enough that thereâs a medical term for it, and itâs a mouthful. Itâs called âMaxillary Sinusitis Of Endodontic Origin,â or MSEO for short.

    So if you have a sinus infection after a root canal, chances are that it wasnât caused by the root canal at all, but itâs a holdover from the infection that was present in your tooth. Once the infection is removed, MSEO will not occur.

    Don’t Miss: Runny Nose Sinus Pressure Medicine

    How Are The Teeth Related To The Sinuses

    In general, the upper molars, and sometimes premolars, have roots that protrude upward into the maxillary sinus cavities. The maxillary sinus cavities are the large air spaces inside the skull just behind your cheekbones. They should be empty, but they fill with mucus and inflammation when irritated by allergies or infection.

    The separation between the teeth roots and the air space of the sinus cavities is an extremely thin layer of bone. On the tooth side, this bone connects to the teeth via the periodontal ligament. On the sinus side, a thin layer of soft tissue membrane covers the thin layer of bone.

    Can Sinus Infection Cause Tooth Pain

    Tooth infection or sinus infection?

    Sinusitis, which is more commonly referred to as a sinus infection, occurs when the sinus cavities around the nasal passages become inflamed and fill with fluid or mucus. When this happens, the sinus infection can overlap with the upper teeth because they are in close proximity.

    Sinus infections are incredibly common, with approximately one out of every eight people in the United States developing a sinus infection in their lifetime . Common symptoms of sinus infections include toothaches , sinus congestion, sinus pressure, and dental abscesses.

    As pressure builds up in your nasal cavity during acute sinusitis, your teeth may begin to feel the pain. While pain and pressure are most common in your upper teeth, the discomfort can spread to your lower teeth as well. You may feel the pressure and discomfort in your teeth change when you bend over or change positions.

    Don’t Miss: The Best Thing For Sinus Congestion

    A Toothache Sinus Infection And Intense Discomfort

    It is important to remember that infected teeth can lead to developing sinus infections. If you do develop a sinus infection, it may lead to a severe and intense toothache. At the same time, if you do end up with an infected tooth, it may lead to the symptoms of sinusitis. If you do suspect that your sinus infection is related to a toothache, contact our emergency dental clinic in Lincoln, NE area.

    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.

    Also Check: How To Clean Your Nose Sinus

    When An Infection Spreads

    Not all tooth infections come with toothaches, however. An infection that develops in the root of one of the upper back teeth can spread to the sinuses, and the patient and clinicians wont necessarily recognize it for what it is. An incorrect diagnosis based on sinus symptoms that doesnt factor in the infected tooth can lead to ineffective treatment, and the patient may then develop a sinus disease called maxillary sinusitis of endodontic origin .

    How To Tell The Difference Between Sinus And Dental Problems

    Infected Tooth Or Sinus Problem?

    It can be very difficult to tell if your toothache is caused by a sinus problem or a dental problem. Here are some indicators that tooth pain is sinus-related:

    • Nasal or sinus congestion is present
    • Pain is only felt in the upper back teeth
    • More than one tooth is affected
    • There is no sensitivity to hot or cold but it hurts to chew or bite

    Read Also: Can Sinus Infection Cause Ear Pain

    Sinus Infection Complications Affecting The Brain

    An even more rare, and more serious, complication of sinus infection would be the infection spreading to the brain. The brain is protected by the blood-brain barrier, whose function is to separate circulating blood from the brain and the fluid of the central nervous system. Its very difficult for sinus infection to be able to cross this border, despite the proximity of the sinuses to the brain.

    The blood-brain barrier is semipermeable, however, and it is possible on rare occasions for an infection to get through from the sinuses to the brain. If a sinus infection spreads to the brain, it can be a life-threatening condition, leading to swelling of the brain, meningitis, or brain abscess.

    Symptoms might include:

    • Severe headache, and
    • Swelling in the face.

    Most of these symptoms would require an emergency visit to the doctor, even without an association with a sinus infection.

    What Are The Clinical Features Of A Dental Sinus

    The infected necrotic pulp may cause severe toothache before the sinus or fistula develops. Disappearance of the pain without dental treatment, can be an important clue that the abscess has drained and formed a sinus. However, the process can also occur painlessly.

    Intraoral dental sinus may appear as a persistentmouth ulcer that drains pus, causing a bad taste in the mouth. Extraoral dental sinus may present as a persistent, draining sore or as a lump on the face. It is usually painless. The discharge may be pus or blood-stained. The sinus opening may be observed on careful examination.

    Because toothache is usually absent, the patient frequently presents to a doctor rather than a dentist. As extraoral dental sinus is a rare condition it is often misdiagnosed initially as a more common skin condition such as a skin cancer, boil or other skin infection, pyogenicgranuloma, trauma, foreign body or other granuloma, cyst or one of the other forms of face and neck sinuses and fistulae.

    Recurrence despite antibiotics or surgery is a clue to the correct diagnosis.

    An obviously decayed tooth in the mouth or a history of a deep filling usually suggests which is the offending tooth. The relevant tooth may be discoloured or tender when tapped. There may be evidence of previous dental or endodontic work or of poor oral hygiene generally.

    Extraoral dental sinus

    Recommended Reading: Advil Cold And Sinus Dosage

    Who Gets A Dental Sinus

    A dental sinus usually results from a chronicinfection in longstanding necrotic dental pulp . The decay is usually due to caries or trauma. Caries occur due to poor dental hygiene and regular consumption of refined sugars. Other predisposing factors to dental decay include:

    • removable dental prostheses
    • xerostomia .

    Infection is more likely after endodontic work, and in patients that are immunosuppressed, having chemotherapy or suffering from blood dyscrasias.

    The direction a sinus takes either within the mouth or to the skin is determined on which tooth is involved and follows the path of least resistance the thickness of the bone as well as muscle attachments and fascial planes direct the route of drainage.

    Intraoral dental sinuses usually occur in the sulcus on the cheek side near the tip of the tooth involved.

    The majority of extraoral dental sinuses start from a tooth in the lower jaw and drain to the chin or under the chin or jawline . Those originating from a tooth in the upper jaw may drain to the cheek or close to the nose. The site of an extraoral sinus opening is often at quite a distance from the infected tooth.

    Is Your Tooth Pain Caused By Blocked Sinus

    Sinus Inflammation caused by teeth

    Theres no worse experience than tooth pain. It can be a throbbing, aching feeling that radiates from your mouth to your jaw. Eventually a tooth pain can give you a terrible headache. If youre really unlucky, your tooth pain can lead to nausea, migraines and joint pain.

    But is the source of this pain simply your teeth? Its important to get to the root cause of the problem. There is a chance that your tooth pain is caused by a blocked sinus. If you suffer from chronic nasal congestion as well as toothaches, the two might be related. Read ahead for valuable information that can help you in a dental emergency.

    Its time to stop letting tooth pain run your life. No more missed days at work and missing out on time with your friends and family! Stop suffering and get to the root of the problem! If your tooth pain is caused by chronic nasal congestion, a natural sinus remedy can solve the problem.

    Also Check: Heal Sinus Infection Without Antibiotics

    Know The Difference Between Sinusitis And A Sinus Communication

    Root canals cant cause sinus infections, but they can cause similar symptoms if your sinus lining is punctured during treatment. If you need more information about root canals or you suspect that you may have a sinus communication and need help with treatment, dont wait. Contact McCue Dental Health now at 456-1091, or stop by our office at 10625 West North Avenue, Suite 300, Wauwatosa, WI 53226 to schedule your appointment.

    Tooth Pain Caused By A Blocked Sinus Its Explained In The Anatomy

    First, we need to explain exactly what a sinus is and what it does. Your sinuses are empty cavities in your skull that are filled with air. Their general purpose is to warm the outside air before it reaches your lungs. Your sinuses are lined with a mucous membrane, a place where both friendly and unfriendly bacteria live.

    This membrane can become inflamed and infected. If this happens, it can block the nasal passage, and the passage can become packed with mucous. Bacteria can then become trapped, and it will multiply and cause a sinus infection. This is painful and often results in a bad taste in your mouth.

    There are a few different types of sinuses in your head. Your maxillary sinuses are located inside your cheekbones, above your upper jaw. If you have an infection in your maxillary sinus, pressure starts to build and then it presses down on your jaw bones.

    It makes sense that when you have a sinus toothache, it usually affects your upper back teeth. These are closer to your maxillary sinuses and are more prone to problems.

    The roots of the pain? It is the roots of the upper molar teeth! They can be very close to the floor of your sinus cavity . The nerves of your roots will be affected by the swelling and pressure. Even though your teeth might be in good health, you will experience sensitive teeth. This is a sinus toothache, and it can be very painful. The longer the blocked sinus lasts, the greater the tooth pain.

    Recommended Reading: Best Antihistamine For Sinus Pressure

    Chronic Sinus Infections Can Be Caused By Infected Teeth

    Its important to understand that sinus infections can actually be caused by an infected tooth. If one of your upper teeth is infected, there is likely quite a bit of bacteria at the root of the tooth.

    The roots of your upper teeth are extremely close to your sinus lining and sinus cavity. In some cases, the root can actually poke through the floor of the sinus. In a severe tooth infection, the bacteria may cause the bone to decay and break down, allowing the infection to spread into your sinus lining, causing sinusitis.

    This is also known as sinusitis of endodontic origin. If you are experiencing sinus infection-like symptoms after a root canal, this may be the issue. Your root canal will have removed the infection from your tooth, but your sinuses may still be infected. You may need to see a doctor to get appropriate treatment to eliminate the source of your infection.

    Popular Articles
    Related news