Sinus infection and toothache


Sinus infection (sinusitis) or inflammation can cause toothache - specifically in the upper rear teeth, which are close to the sinuses. In fact, pain in the upper teeth is a fairly common symptom with sinus conditions.

If you have a persistent toothache, first consult your dentist for an examination. He or she will consider possible dental causes for the toothache, such as periodontal disease, tooth grinding, cavities or dental abscesses. If your dentist rules out a dental cause for the toothache, consult your doctor.  He or she will consider whether a sinus condition or other underlying medical problem is contributing to the toothache.

Over-the-counter (OTC) medication

Once confirmed that facial pain is in fact caused by sinusitis, pain relievers and decongestant medications may help relieve the symptoms.

  • Decongestants. These work by narrowing blood vessels to help reduce inflammation and swelling that cause sinus congestion. Such products are available in liquids, tablets and nasal sprays.
  • Pain relievers. Pain caused by pressure build-up in the sinus cavities may be relieved by aspirin, acetaminophen or ibuprofen.

Always use OTC products as directed. If your child becomes infected, check with their health care provider to find out what's safe.

Other home remedies

  • Inhale warm water vapour. Drape a towel over your head as you breathe in the moist air from a bowl of warm or moderately hot water. Or take a hot shower, breathing in the warm, moist air.
  • Apply warm compresses. Place warm, damp towels around your nose, cheeks and eyes to ease facial pain.
  • Drink plenty of fluids. Consuming additional fluids helps dilute mucous secretions and promotes drainage.
  • Use a saline nasal spray. Saline washes or sprays can remove thick secretions and allow the sinuses to drain.

Most people with acute sinusitis get better without antibiotics. However, if your symptoms are severe or last longer than a few days, talk to your doctor.


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