Is It A Toothache…Or Sinus Pain?

This time of year can cause allergies to go haywire. Ragweed and pollen are two of the biggest offenders in North Texas, and can cause allergy suffers to avoid going outdoors altogether.  

 Sinus pressure or a toothache?

Those of us who suffer from allergies are all too familiar with itchy eyes and runny noses. However, for some, allergies sometimes manifest in something more painful—toothaches. If you have ever felt this pain (typically in your rear upper teeth or morals), it can be concerning since many people assume they have a cavity or need an even more invasive procedure like a root canal. If reading this has made a light bulb go off, keep reading to learn more about the cause of the pain and other oral health complications you may suffer as a result of allergies! 


Sinus pain and your teeth 


Sinus pressure caused by allergies—or a full-blown sinus infection—most commonly causes pain or a toothache-like feeling in your top rear molars due to the location of your maxillary sinuses. Additional pressure is placed on your nasal cavity that then radiates down to your teeth. 


On average, 28 million Americans suffer from sinus infections each year, so it is likely you have experienced this feeling before. 


Experiencing tooth pain can be alarming. However, before you panic, try to determine exactly where the pain is coming from. If you are experiencing pain along your nasal passageway and into your forehead area, it’s most likely that your toothache is the result of a sinus infection. If this is the case, give your doctor a call and they can prescribe medication that can zap the infection. However, if you aren’t typically an allergy sufferer and experience the tooth pain while you’re eating or consuming hot or cold foods, you most likely have a dental issue. Give us a call and we can do a thorough examination to determine the source of the pain.   


Other issues that result from allergies  


For those with severe allergies, you’re probably aware that they can take a toll on your whole body. In addition to toothaches, allergies and sinus problems can cause other issues that affect your mouth. 


For example, dry mouth is a common side effect of allergies and sinus pain. And lack of saliva and severe dry mouth can lead to other serious complications. 


First, increased plaque, tooth decay and gum disease can occur in patients with dry mouth. Saliva neutralizes bacteria by limiting bacterial growth and washing away food particles. Other complications include mouth sores, yeast infections in the mouth, and dry skin around the mouth and lips. It’s important to hydrate with lots of water and chew sugar free gum to increase your saliva production. 


Sore throats are also a common side effect of allergies that are not only bothersome but can also cause toothaches. Sore throats caused by post-nasal drip can make your teeth feel like they are aching. Couple this with swollen lymph nodes, and it’s no wonder people have a hard time pinpointing the root of their toothache! 


At-home remedies 


If you have determined that sinus pressure is the origin of your tooth pain, there are lots of at-home toothache cures that can be used to help ease your pain. 


First, drink lots of water and add a steam shower to your daily routine. The extra water helps to decrease mucus buildup. And by eliminating the buildup, you should be able to relieve some of the pressure. 


Next, opt for spicy foods for dinner. Yes, more spicy stuff! Foods that normally make your eyes water from the heat actually contain properties that help thin mucus. 


Finally, look for over-the-counter products that help “melt” the mucus away. Since tooth pain derives from increased pressure, it’s important to choose a medication that not only masks the allergy symptoms, but also gets rid of excess mucus. 


If you ever have any concerns about lingering tooth pain or feel that something isn’t right, never hesitate to give Dr. Marchbanks a call! 

Also published on Medium.