There’s nothing quite like the changing of seasons to invigorate your senses –– and stir up all kinds of seasonal allergies. Sure, you’re used to the typical itchy eyes and runny nose, but what about the tooth pain? Believe it or not, dealing with sinus issues ranging from seasonal allergies to a full-out sinus infection can cause tooth and mouth pain. Not sure how to know if your pain is from a tooth that needs attention or a brewing sinus infection? Read on to learn how to tell if your pain is from sinusitis or a toothache.


The sinuses are closely connected to the upper teeth and jaw, and because of this, a tooth infection may radiate into the sinuses. Likewise, a sinus infection may feel like a toothache in the upper jaw when the pain radiates down.

There are several sinus passages, including the maxillary sinus, which lies behind your cheekbones. The roots of your top back teeth lie in close proximity to the maxillary sinus. When fluid accumulates here it can put pressure on the nerves that enter the roots of these teeth. The pain associated with this pressure can make you feel like you have a toothache.

Sinusitis is an infection in the sinuses which usually clears up on its own. Often triggered by a common cold or even allergies, unpleasant symptoms may accompany sinusitis pain.

Symptoms of sinusitis include:

  • Sore throat due to postnasal drip
  • Persistent cough
  • Dull pain spreading from the eyes, nose, forehead, or even the jaws and teeth
  • Swelling of the sinuses accompanied by a headache
  • Discharge from the sinus passages

A sinus-related toothache typically generates pain on both sides of the face. Also try pushing down on your tooth. If it doesn’t cause you immediate, intense discomfort, it’s more likely referred pain from pressure in your head. If your sinus infection lasts longer than 8 weeks or recurs often, it’s considered a chronic infection, and you should visit your doctor.


As mentioned above, it can be difficult to pinpoint the source of your tooth pain. When you’re trying to tell whether your tooth pain is radiating pain from sinusitis or due to dental disease, the best way is by scheduling an appointment with your general dentist.

A simple dental exam and x-ray will help your dentist determine whether your tooth or your sinuses are the sources of your discomfort.

Tooth pain related to sinusitis will often diminish or cease altogether after a few days. If the problem is actually from a tooth, then there will be no improvement as time goes on. Persistent tooth pain may indicate the presence of other factors such as:

  • Periodontal disease
  • Bruxism, or tooth grinding
  • Cavities
  • Dental abscesses

Lastly, keep in mind that because the teeth and sinuses are so closely interconnected, an infection in one can lead to an infection in the other. In other words, an infection in your sinuses could lead to an infection in your tooth, and vice versa. If you are concerned about the possibility of having an infection, be sure to contact your general dentist and primary care physician to determine the cause of your pain.

When you’re dealing with tooth pain, normal tasks can become burdensome. That’s why we make it our mission to relieve our patients’ pain and restore their smile for years to come. Our team here at Endodontic Specialists of Colorado is dedicated to getting to the root of your tooth problems. With offices in Pueblo and Colorado Springs, convenient care is just a phone call away. Contact us today to schedule your evaluation and learn how we can restore your smile!