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Do You Have Sinus Pressure or a Toothache?

toothache girlSince the pandemic began, we have all been hyper-aware of symptoms that interrupt our daily life. Anything that causes congestion, headache, pain, and of course, a fever, we take very seriously in the post-2020 world. When it comes to sinus pain or dental issues, it can be hard to differentiate one from the other. While they can definitely have some overlap in symptoms, the two ailments are actually quite different- and thus – require unique treatment.

The Truth About Your Sinus

Your sinuses are often misunderstood. Many people think that there is just one area that affects a sinus – the area adjacent to your nose. The truth is that there are actually four separate sinus cavities that can become inflamed and require medical intervention. These sinuses – the frontal, sphenoid, ethmoid, and maxillary – can become irritated completely separate from one another or all at the same time. The frontal, sphenoid, and ethmoid sinuses are the cavities that cause the most “pressure” in your head. These cause headaches, watery/swollen eyes, and temple sensitivity.

Which is Which

Your maxillary sinus is the one that, when inflamed or infected, can become confused with a toothache. Because these maxillary sinuses sit right on top of the jaw, it is no wonder that we sometimes aren’t sure from where our pain is coming.  Here are a few ways to separate a toothache from a maxillary sinus infection.

  1. Sinus infections are symmetrical. When your sinus cavities are inflamed, you will most likely feel pain on both sides of your face.
  2. Sinus issues are almost always accompanied by other cold-like symptoms such as runny nose, sneezing, sore throat, and congestion.
  3. If you have a history of sinus problems or allergies, it is more likely that you will also suffer this them as well.
  4. Toothaches are tender. If you touch or put pressure on a tooth or on your upper gum line and it is painful, it is likely that you have a severe toothache or dental infection. At the first sign of this, you may need emergency dental services.
  5. While sinuses can cause a gradual, low-grade fever, a toothache that is infected will cause a sudden, high fever.

When to Seek Medical Attention . . . and Where

Both sinus infections and a toothache can turn severe quickly if not treated. If you think you have a sinus infection, please get in touch with your primary care provider, as you may require allergy medication or antibiotics.

For a toothache, please schedule an appointment at the first sign of tooth pain or infection. These infections can spread throughout the body without intervention. Antibiotics may be prescribed, but it is also possible that you will need a tooth extraction. We are happy to care for you at Premier Dental Center San Antonio.

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