Did you know that the common cold can cause toothache? This can occur when your cold or flu results from a virus that also causes a sinus infection. Also known as sinusitis, this painful infection occurs when your nasal cavities become swollen and inflamed. Symptoms include a bad headache, severe aching in the area of your sinuses, a stuffy nose, and congestion.
Unfortunately, complications with teeth can occur because the roots of the upper molars and premolars are located near the upper sinus. Their proximity to the infected sinus means they can often ache and feel extra sensitive to pressure.
The sinuses are air pockets on either side of the nasal cavity that clean the air coming in through the nose. There are four pairs: frontal sinuses (in your forehead), maxillary sinuses (in your cheekbones), and the sphenoid and ethmoid sinuses (behind the nose). Sinusitis occurs when the tissues lining the sinuses become inflamed – often due to viruses, bacteria or allergies – leading to intense pressure and pain in different areas of the face or behind the eyes. In severe cases, sufferers can experience sore throat, headache, fever, fatigue, a yellow or green discharge from the nose, and toothache.
Unless it’s worsened by an existing dental problem, the only way to treat a sinus-related toothache is to treat the sinus infection – so unfortunately, your dentist won’t be able to do much for you in this case. Where sinusitis is caused by a viral infection, recommended treatments include pain and fever medications, nasal sprays, and mucolytics (which work to break down mucous). Other treatments include humidifiers, decongestants, and sometimes antibiotics if the infection is bacterial. You can also rely on over-the-counter pain relievers to address the pain.
Of course, toothaches can often indicate that something more serious is wrong, so it’s wise to consult a dentist so you can have peace of mind that there’s nothing more serious going on. To find out how the friendly team at East Bentleigh Dental Group can help you achieve optimum oral health, get in touch with us to make an appointment.