Toothache or headache

Toothache or Sinus Infection?

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Mary Ann went to her see her dentist saying that she has the worst toothache in her life. She was there a month ago for a dental check-up and back then her teeth were in perfect shape.

Is Mary Ann having a sudden terrible toothache or a sinus infection?

The pain can be easily confused because the areas are so close to each other. The maxillary sinus is located just above your upper teeth that any conditions in both your teeth and/or sinuses can cause or mimic toothache.

How do we know which one is which?

Usually a simple X-ray can distinguish the location of an infection. If your teeth are healthy and don’t have any cavities on them, then your dentist would try to find another source of your discomfort. The most common culprit is sinusitis.

One of the common symptoms of maxillary sinusitis is pain in your teeth that may get better or worse as you move your head (when standing up or lying down).

The primary symptoms of acute sinusitis include:

  • Facial pain/pressure
  • Nasal stuffiness
  • Nasal discharge
  • Loss of smell
  • Cough/congestion

Additional symptoms may include:

  • Fever
  • Bad breath
  • Fatigue

If you’re having facial pain and unsure what the cause is, be sure to get help immediately. If left untreated, sinusitis may worsen existing health problems like asthma. In rare incidences, it can also lead to meningitis and bone infections.