When air is inhaled through your nose the air makes its way through to the lungs by traveling through several hollow, air filled spaces called sinuses. Sinuses are located in the face around your cheeks, nose and above the eyes. Sinuses are lined with a spongy, pink lining, similar to the inside of your mouth. When sinuses get inflamed it is called sinusitis.
Sinuses located in the cheeks are called the Maxillary sinus. While we have several of sets of sinuses, the Maxillary sinus is the only sinus that can be affected by a tooth related problem. The roots of your upper molars (and sometimes premolars) come very close to the sinus and sometimes come in contact with the floor of the sinus.
Since the roots of the teeth are so close to the sinus, teeth and gum abscesses/infections can eat through the bone and infect the maxillary sinus causing sinus infections. Approximately 20% of cases of maxillary sinusitis are a result of a tooth infection.
Although toothaches are generally caused by a problem with a tooth, sinus problems can also mimic a toothache. Pressure within the sinuses can cause mild to severe tooth pain.
It is important to remember that unhealthy teeth are just ONE cause of sinus infections and that there are many other causes. If you suspect a tooth causes your sinus infection, you should make an appointment with your dentist to confirm this.
Visit our website to learn more about our dental services, including toothaches and infections feel free to schedule an appointment with Dr. Heidi Finkelstein at My Plantation Dentist by contacting us at 954-584-1030.