Can a Bad Tooth Cause Sinus Problems?
Published May 12, 2023
A bad tooth can lead to a myriad of oral health problems. But can a bad tooth cause sinus problems too?
Yes, a bad tooth can lead to sinus problems. Your teeth and sinuses are basically next-door neighbors. So it’s inevitable that an infection in your teeth can also affect your sinuses.
However, sinus problems caused by tooth infections may not always include tooth pain. This makes it hard to differentiate from other types of sinus infections. It also makes them hard to treat as regular sinus treatments won’t work.
If your sinus infection doesn’t go away despite various treatments, then it’s probably caused by a bad tooth.
To help you determine if such is really the case, we’re listing below the symptoms to watch out for and what treatments you can try. But first, let’s delve deeper into the connection between your teeth and sinuses.
The Link Between Your Teeth and Sinuses
If you remember your anatomy lesson, your sinuses are hollow spaces located at the back of your nose. The largest ones can be found just above the back teeth of your upper jaw. In some people, the roots of the upper teeth even extend to the sinus cavity.
Because of this, any infection in your upper teeth area can easily spread into your sinus cavities. These infections usually begin at the outer layer of the teeth. As time passes, the bacteria drills deeper until it reaches your teeth’s root canal.
When the infection reaches your root canal, it’s only a matter of time before it reaches your sinuses.
In certain cases, however, tooth decay has worsened to the point that the dental nerves have died. This is why some cases of tooth-related sinus infections don’t come with tooth sensitivity or pain.
Symptoms of Dental Sinus Infection
Sinus infections caused by dental problems typically come with the following symptoms:
- runny nose
- post-nasal drip
- nasal congestion
- facial pain
- bad breath
These symptoms tend to be chronic and could go on for years with occasional flare-ups.
As you’ll notice, most of these symptoms are also typical in most types of sinus infections. So if your symptoms are chronic and you think it has something to do with your teeth, don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor. It will help them come up with a better treatment plan to get rid of your symptoms once and for all.
How to Get Rid of Dental Sinusitis
Since the infection does not originate in your sinuses, regular sinusitis treatments don’t work on dental sinusitis. Antibiotics may provide temporary relief but the symptoms will eventually come back.
The best thing you can do is to consult with an endodontist. They specialize in diagnosing and treating tooth pain and perform root canals. They can help you figure out which teeth are infected, how severe the infection is, as well as the most effective treatment methods.
In general, the endodontist will recommend a root canal procedure. Though in some cases, an extraction might be necessary.
Can Probiotics Help?
Several studies have already suggested that probiotics can help with various oral health problems. As it happens, it can help with dental sinusitis too.
If you’re not familiar, probiotics are microorganisms dubbed as the “good bacteria” since they fight harmful bacteria. And, as mentioned, tooth infections often start with bacteria munching on your tooth layers.
By “kicking out” the harmful bacteria, it can protect your teeth and prevent infections. This, in turn, prevents dental sinus problems.
But as with any other medicines and supplements, make sure to talk to your doctor first before taking any probiotics.
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About The Author
Judy Ponio is a professional writer based in the Philippines. Her commitment to communicating factual content in when writing is unmatched. She works hard to cross check reputable sources to ensure her work uses accurate facts.