It is pain that can start under your eyes. What can seem like a broken cheekbone or severe headache can resonate with pain throughout your face and neck. The question is whether or not this pain is caused by sinus pressure or inflammation in your teeth and gums. While both can cause extreme pain and make your life uncomfortable, they require different diagnoses and treatments.
Under ‘Sinus’ Pressure
When most people hear ‘sinus’ they think of nasal passages. While it definitely includes nasal airways, there is a lot more to sinuses than what people think. We actually have four sinus cavities: the frontal sinus, the ethmoid sinus, the sphenoid sinus, and the maxillary sinus. Any or all of these can become inflamed or blocked, causing a person to experience incredible pain in and around the infected area.
The maxillary sinus is the one that, when inflamed, can feel like a severe toothache. In fact, even the name can be confusing, as we also have maxillary teeth that can become infected as well. The maxillary sinus is the lowest sinus cavity, and thus, is closest to our jaw bone, teeth, and gums. Confusing sinus pressure with a toothache in this area is very common.
Knowing the Difference
While the pain from a sinus infection and a toothache are similar, there are some ways you can differentiate the two.
- Consistent on one side of your mouth/face, it could be a toothache.
- Sudden onset of pain without a history of sinus issues.
- Inflamed gums in addition to pain around your jawline and cheekbone.
- Difficulty chewing without pain.
- Sensitivity to cold beverages.
Don’t Put Up With Discomfort
Whether you are experiencing sinus pain or a toothache, you don’t need to endure the discomfort any longer. Our dentists at All Smiles Dental Group can help you figure out if your sinus ache is truly a toothache or vice versa. In addition, any general medical practitioner can help you with sinus infection treatment and prescribe antibiotics if needed or recommend other protocols.
If you do have a toothache, here are some recommended treatments to try at home until you schedule a dental appointment.
- Take an anti-inflammatory like ibuprofen every six hours for pain.
- Alternate ice and heat every twenty minutes to reduce inflammation and relieve pain.
- Apply a topical numbing agent directly to the tooth, you can get these over-the-counter at any pharmacy.
- Rinse with salt water.