We’ve all been there –– your head is pounding, your jaw aches, and you’re counting down the minutes till you’re able to go back to bed. When you don’t feel well, it’s hard to do much of anything. But, it’s important to figure out the root of the problem. The sooner you pinpoint the cause, the faster you could be on the road to recovery. That’s why we want to help you tell a toothache from sinusitis.

Read on to learn about the differences between these two ailments, and how you can get relief.

The Surprising Connection Between Sinus Pain and Tooth Pain

Did you know that there is a proven connection between sinus pain and tooth pain? If you’re suffering from tooth pain, your thoughts may immediately go to a dental cavity or some other dental problem. However, it’s possible that your tooth pain is actually being caused by sinus problems, or vice versa.

You have seven sinuses, but the maxillary sinus is the one most likely to cause tooth pain. When the sinuses become irritated, swollen or infected, they can become sensitive and put extra pressure on the tooth roots.

Most of the time, the extra pressure will just cause some minor discomfort. But if too much pressure or congestion builds up in the maxillary sinus, you’re much more likely to experience an aching mouth.

The type of pain is a good indication of its source. When an abscessed tooth or infection is the culprit, the pain might feel like a constant, progressive sensation of discomfort that’s usually felt in a specific tooth.

Sinus infection pain, on the other hand, is less intense and less localized and is more of an aching feeling than a sharp or severe pain. Because it impacts an entire section of the jaw instead of a single tooth, the pain may also be felt over a wider area.

Ruling Out a Toothache

If you’re still unsure if you’re dealing with sinusitis or a toothache, it’s always a good idea to consult with your dentist. There are a few different ways for your dentist to tell if your pain is coming from your sinuses or if it’s a real toothache. Your dentist will perform a thorough exam and may take x-rays as well.

It’s likely you’re experiencing a sinus infection if the exam produces when of these findings:

  • No visible signs of cavities or decay in your x-rays. X-rays are an excellent diagnostic tool when it comes to locating areas of infection, and if your x-ray is clear then sinusitis is likely to blame for your tooth pain.
  • Close proximity of the affected teeth to the maxillary sinus. Remember, this is the sinus that’s located closest to your teeth. If it becomes infected, the sinus will expand and place pressure on your mouth, creating referred pain.
  • Discomfort is a whole area of the mouth instead of just one tooth. It’s not uncommon to have difficulty pinpointing that tooth that’s causing trouble. But when the cause is a sinus infection, the pain is generalized and hard to locate.
  • Sudden tooth sensitivity, especially to temperature. Tooth sensitivity can be normal for some people, but if your teeth aren’t typically sensitive, this overall change could indicate a sinus infection.

Fast Treatment for Your Toothache

The best way to determine if you’re experiencing a toothache or sinusitis? Contact the Endodontic Specialists of Colorado! Our family team can accurately diagnose your pain and quickly provide a customized treatment plan. And with offices located in Pueblo and Colorado Springs, convenient care is just a call away. Contact us to schedule your evaluation today!