Those who have suffered from sinus infections know how painful and uncomfortable they can be. Since our sinuses are located so close to our mouth and teeth, the two can become closely linked, and oral infections can affect sinuses, and make sinus infections even worse.
Sinus infections are usually caused by viral infections such as the flu or the common cold, but can also be caused by infection in the teeth or gums. For this reason, it’s important to examine the mouth when diagnosing a sinus infection.
During a sinus infection, your sinuses become inflamed. A sinus infection may be acute, and only last a short time, usually the effect of a cold or flu, or they may be chronic, and last more than eight weeks, as well as recurring. Symptoms of sinus infection include:
- Pain: Sinus infections usually cause aching around the nose, forehead, eyes, or jaw.
- Discharge: Often, infections are accompanied with a green-yellow discharge, and/or a postnasal drip, which can feel like an itchy throat.
- Congestion: A sinus infection may make it harder to breathe through your nose due to congestion.
- Headache: The buildup of fluid and swelling that occurs during a nasal infection causes pressure in the face and head, which can lead to headaches.
- Sore Throat/Cough: Postnasal drip and other mucus in the throat leaves the throat sore and irritated.
Dental health issues like infection, cavities and impacted wisdom teeth can cause sinus infection. If a sinus infection is suspected, a dental check-up should also be performed. Since the sinuses are close to the mouth, it may be hard for you yourself to determine the location of the pain.
By examining your teeth and gums, a dentist will be able to determine the location and cause of the pain. An ear, nose, and throat doctor will also help in diagnosis and treatment of a sinus infection.
Like most infections, sinus infections are often treated with antibiotics, along with nasal drops, nasal sprays, and nasal washes. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, your doctor will be able to provide you with the appropriate treatment options. It is best to seek immediate treatment for a sinus infection not only to end the pain and discomfort, but because a prolonged sinus infection can have negative impacts on oral health.
Since toothaches and sinus infections can be difficult to tell apart, it’s best to consult a dentist if you feel you are suffering from either. Contact our family dentistry team at Sierra Dental today if you have any concerns, or want to book an appointment.