Everything You Need to Know About Sinus Tooth Pain

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Sinus tooth pain is a common condition that causes discomfort and sensitivity in the teeth due to sinus problems. Many people experience this type of dental pain, which can be extremely bothersome. Some patients say sinus pain is often more painful than a regular toothache. This article discusses the impact of bad sinuses on your teeth, how long a sinus tooth pain lasts, how sinusitis causes tooth pain, and how to determine if your tooth pain is caused by sinus pressure.

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What Is the Impact of Bad Sinuses on Your Teeth?

The sinuses are air-filled spaces located in the face and skull bones. The sinus cavity is crucial in filtering and humidifying the air we breathe. However, when the sinuses become inflamed or infected, they can cause various symptoms, including sinusitis, tooth pain, and other issues.

The impact of bad sinuses on your teeth can be significant. Sinus issues can lead to referred pain, where you may feel discomfort in an area that is not the actual source of the problem. This means sinus problems can cause tooth pain even if the teeth are healthy.

How Long Does a Sinus Tooth Pain Last?

The duration of a sinus toothache can vary from person to person. In most cases, sinusitis tooth pain is temporary and will subside once the underlying sinus problem is resolved. However, if the sinus issue persists or a particular dental problem causes tooth pain, the duration of the toothache may be longer. Identifying the root cause of tooth pain is essential to determine the expected duration accurately. Typically, sinus infection symptoms subside within a week or 10 days. Within this timeframe, it’s considered acute sinusitis.

In rare circumstances, when your tooth pain lasts for more than 12 weeks, it could indicate chronic sinusitis. Chronic sinusitis is more severe than acute sinusitis, and you should seek immediate medical attention in such cases.

How Sinus Pressure Causes Tooth Pain

Sinusitis, the inflammation or infection of the sinuses, can induce tooth pain because of the proximity of the sinuses to the upper teeth. There are several pairs of sinuses, but the maxillary sinuses are most commonly associated with tooth pain. The maxillary sinuses are typically located behind the cheekbones and above the upper teeth.

When the sinuses become inflamed or infected, they can swell and produce excess mucus. This can lead to a blockage or congestion in the sinuses, resulting in increased pressure within the sinuses. The increased pressure can then be transmitted to the surrounding structures, including the roots of the upper teeth.

The roots of the upper teeth are typically located close to the maxillary sinuses. The roots of the premolars and molars are in direct contact with the floor of the maxillary sinuses. When the sinuses become inflamed and exert pressure on the roots of the teeth, it can result in tooth pain and sensitivity.

The pain experienced due to sinusitis is often described as a dull, aching sensation in the affected teeth. It may be difficult to pinpoint the exact tooth causing the pain because the pain can be referred from the sinuses to multiple teeth in the upper jaw.

How To Determine if Sinus Pressure Is Causing Your Sinus Toothache

It can be challenging to determine whether your tooth pain is caused by sinus pressure or if it is due to a dental issue. However, some signs and symptoms can help you differentiate between the two. Knowing the root cause of your pain determines the appropriate treatment or remedy for pain relief.

If you experience tooth pain and other sinus-related symptoms such as nasal congestion, facial pressure, or a headache, your toothache is more likely to be caused by sinus pressure. Additionally, if the tooth pain worsens when you bend forward or have sinusitis, it indicates sinus-related tooth pain.

Symptoms of Sinus Infection Tooth Pain

Symptoms of tooth pain caused by sinus pressure can vary. These symptoms may include:

  • Dull, aching pain in the upper teeth
  • Increased tooth sensitivity, particularly to hot or cold temperatures
  • Pain that worsens when you lean or bend forward or lie down
  • Facial pressure or tenderness, especially around the cheekbones or under the eyes
  • Nasal congestion or a runny nose
  • Postnasal drip
  • Headache or pressure in the forehead or temples

If you experience these symptoms and tooth pain, your toothache is likely related to sinusitis. Facial massages are often the best and most practical at-home treatment to ease pressure in the sinus cavities. You can also take decongestants if the pressure is too severe.

Differences Between Sinus Pressure and a Toothache

Although sinus pressure and toothache can cause similar symptoms, some key differences can help you distinguish between the two:

Sinus-related tooth pain usually affects multiple teeth in the upper jaw, while a toothache is localized to a specific tooth or teeth. Additionally, sinus-related tooth pain often comes with other sinus symptoms, such as nasal congestion or facial pressure, whereas a toothache typically does not.

In contrast, toothache pains are usually more localized. In most cases, you can precisely identify the tooth causing pain. Moreover, toothache is often described as sharp, throbbing, or constant. It may intensify when you bite, chew, or apply pressure to the affected tooth.

6 simple ways to relieve sinus tooth pain

How To Relieve Sinus Tooth Pain

If you are experiencing sinus-related tooth pain, several home remedies and lifestyle changes may help alleviate the discomfort. Here are some tips to ease sinus-related toothache.

Use a warm compress: Applying a warm compress to the affected area can help reduce facial pressure and ease tooth pain.

Rinse with a saline solution: A sinus flush with a saline solution can help clear the sinuses and reduce inflammation, relieving tooth pain.

Stay hydrated: Drinking fluids helps thin the mucus and promotes sinus drainage, reducing sinus pressure.

Use over-the-counter pain relievers: Non-prescription pain medications like acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help manage sinus tooth pain.

Maintain good oral hygiene: Regular brushing, flossing, and rinsing with an antimicrobial mouthwash can prevent dental issues that may worsen tooth pain.

Use a humidifier: Adding moisture to the open air can help keep the sinuses and nasal passages moist, reducing sinus inflammation and tooth pain.

These remedies can provide temporary relief, but addressing the underlying sinus problem is essential for the long-term management of sinus tooth pain. Seek a dentist immediately to learn more about how to treat sinusitis effectively.

Read Also: Foods That Clear Sinus Congestion

When To See a Doctor

While many cases of sinus tooth pain can be managed at home, there are instances when it is necessary to seek medical attention. You should consider seeing a doctor if:

  • The toothache is severe and persistent.
  • A high fever accompanies tooth pain.
  • The tooth pain worsens despite home remedies.
  • You have a history of chronic sinusitis or recurring sinus infections.
  • You experience difficulty breathing or swallowing.

A healthcare professional can evaluate your symptoms, diagnose the underlying cause of the tooth pain, and suggest appropriate treatment. Your dentist may recommend several treatment options to treat your sinusitis, depending on its severity:

OTC Treatments: Your doctor might recommend a non-prescription treatment route to manage sinusitis symptoms. This often involves using nasal sprays, decongestants, or nasal corticosteroid sprays.

Antibiotic Therapy: Sinusitis usually roots from a bacterial infection, which could be effectively treated with antibiotic therapy. This is the standard treatment option for chronic sinusitis.

Immunotherapy: In some cases, sinusitis toothache worsens with an allergic reaction. Taking allergy shots could improve your symptoms and ease your discomfort in this situation.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Yes, a sinus infection can cause jaw pain. The maxillary sinuses are located near the upper jaw, and when they become inflamed or infected, they can cause referred pain in the jaw area. This pain may be felt as a dull ache or pressure in the jaw, similar to temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain. Applying a warm compress for several minutes is an effective quick treatment to manage sinus infection pain.

Sinus infections primarily affect the upper teeth. However, in some cases, the inflammation or pressure from the sinuses can radiate to the lower teeth, causing tooth pain. This is less common than upper tooth pain but can still occur.

Absolutely. A sinus infection could produce immense pain that could reach the front teeth. The maxillary sinuses are located close to the roots of the upper front teeth. When these sinuses become inflamed, they can exert pressure on the roots, leading to tooth pain or sensitivity in the front teeth.

Teeth problems do not directly cause a sinus infection. However, dental issues such as infected or abscessed teeth can lead to sinus problems if the infection spreads from the teeth to the adjacent sinuses. In these cases, proper dental treatment is necessary to prevent the spread of infection to the sinuses.

Suppose you have a toothache accompanied by other sinus-related symptoms, such as facial pressure, nasal congestion, or a headache. In that case, it is more likely to be a sign of sinusitis. However, it is essential to consult a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and to rule out any underlying dental issues that may be causing the toothache.

When the sinuses become inflamed or infected, they can exert pressure on the roots of the upper teeth. Since the maxillary sinuses are located near the roots of multiple upper teeth, a sinus infection can cause several teeth to hurt simultaneously. The pain may be felt as a generalized ache or sensitivity in the affected teeth.

Yes, sinusitis can cause tooth sensitivity. The pressure and inflammation from the sinuses can affect the nerve endings in the roots of the upper teeth, leading to increased sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures. This sensitivity may be temporary and should improve once the sinus infection or inflammation subsides. If the pain and sensitivity don’t resolve for a month, it’s always best to seek professional help.

A bad tooth, such as an infected or abscessed tooth, can cause sinus problems if the infection spreads from the tooth to the adjacent sinuses. This can lead to sinusitis, characterized by inflammation and infection in the sinuses. Proper dental treatment is necessary to address the underlying dental issue and prevent the spread of infection to the sinuses. However, you can mitigate the risk of sinusitis by maintaining excellent oral hygiene.


The content on Doctor Alexa’s blog is reviewed by Advanced practice registered nurses or pharmacist and is intended for educational purposes only. This information should not be relied upon as professional medical counsel. Be sure to always consult with your physician about the dangers and benefits of any medication, treatment or procedure.

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