Mar 2, 2018

The Difference Between a Sinus Infection and a Toothache

The winter season is a time when a lot of people get sick with head colds and flu. Nearly everyone will get a cold at some point over the winter period. For most people, the cold will clear itself with a bit of love and care. For some people, however, it can develop into something far nastier.

When our noses get blocked with mucus, it can lodge in our sinuses and lead to an infection. This can be a very painful experience. You might feel that your head is about to explode. Another effect of a sinus infection is a pain in your teeth and your jaw. As your entire face is connected by nerves, this pain is interlinked. Yet, just because you are feeling pain in your teeth or jaw, this does not necessarily mean that you have a toothache. We will help you discover the difference between a sinus infection and a toothache.


What Causes Sinus Infections

Sinus infections are generally caused by a virus. We are far more susceptible to viruses when we have a cold because our immune system is so busy fighting off the bacteria of the cold. When you have a sinus infection, you will notice that your breathing will be restricted. This is due to a build-up of mucus in your nasal passages, along with swelling due to the inflammation. When you blow your nose, you will notice that the discharge is a yellow-green colour. This discharge can also flow down the back of your throat which you may cough up. Due to this coughing, you might also develop a sore throat. One of the most noticeable side-effects of a sinus infection is the pain. This can lead to a sensitivity in your cheeks and result in a headache. It can also impact on your teeth.


What Causes a Toothache

Toothaches are caused by dental decay most frequently. If you begin to develop cavities in your teeth, and these a left untreated, it can quickly develop into a toothache. Cavities result from the loss of enamel due to sugary or acidic foods and beverages. If you eat a lot of sugary food, the enamel in your teeth becomes worn down, and holes will begin to emerge. If you are not in the habit of making frequent trips to your dentist, then these cavities can cause a lot of discomfort in the form of a toothache. That is why you should make regular visits to ensure good oral health.

The location of your sinus is very close to your upper molars. Due to the fact that there is such a proximity between the sinuses and the roots of your teeth when they become congested, inflamed or irritated, they can place pressure on those roots. In a small number of cases the sinus infection can even be so severe, that is can cause movement in your upper teeth. However, there is a difference between a sinus infection and a toothache.


Difference Between a Sinus Infection and a Toothache

It is not always easy to tell the difference between a sinus infection and a toothache, but there are a number of clear indicators that you should look out for. A sinus infection is likely to encompass a wide area of the facial region. It is not generally located in the one area but extends to encompass a larger area. Sinus infections tend to create a tender pain, that can come and go throughout the period of the infection. Sinus infections are usually accompanied by other other symptoms of cold and flu.

The difference between a sinus infection and a toothache is that a toothache tends to be localized to one location. It is usually a sharp, focused and concentrated pain that will not go away. The pain associated with a toothache will not fluctuate throughout the day but instead stays constant.


If you are unsure of the source of your pain or worried that the problem could get worse for you, then you should book an appointment with your dentist. The dentist will be able to carry out an x-ray of your face. From this, they will be able to see whether your sinuses have become clouded with mucus or if there is an actual problem with your teeth.

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