Toothache or Sinus Infection?

Sinus pressure can cause discomfort around the roots of your teeth.  Problematic teeth can also stir up some pretty awful sensations that mimic a sinus infection.  So, how do you know where the pain is coming from?

Weather Reports

A quick look at the radar may help some chronic allergic types know if changes in pressure are causing their sinus problems.  At that point, taking their usual prescription will bring a great relief.  Seasonal allergies can cause the maxillary sinuses to fill up with fluid.  This pressure is certainly capable of making the upper teeth ache.  A hot shower will usually bring some relief as well.

Do a Tap Dance

There are a couple ways to test for pressure in and around your teeth to help pinpoint the problem.  First, while standing, bend forward as if to touch your toes.  If the pressure gets worse in the entire area, you might be dealing with sinus problems.  You can also tap on each tooth with the end of something small like a pen or handle of a spoon.  If a single tooth is the culprit, you will most likely get a sharp pain only in one specific spot.

Changes in Temperature and Taste

Take a sip of cold water and roll it around in your mouth.  Now take a sip of something really warm.  If none of your teeth feel unusually uncomfortable, it might not be a tooth problem at all.

Usually, a tooth that is infected will not appreciate rapid changes in temperature, especially hot temperatures.  Now try the floss test.  Does any specific tooth bleed more or have a funny taste?  Since bacteria around infected teeth give off sulfur and toxins, you might experience some pretty foul reactions when you clean around them.

The only way to find out for sure whether you have an infected tooth is to have an x-ray taken.  We recommend that you call our office if symptoms persist for more than a day or two or if you know something just doesn’t feel right. For more information check out our blog post on relieving tooth pain it might help you in those inconvenient hours when teeth tend to flare up.