Are you the sort of person that is constantly wiping their nose? Do you find yourself with sinus headaches that you can feel in your teeth? How often do you go through that packet of tissue you keep near you at all times? If you’re the kind of person who deals with these kinds of problems you know how annoying they can be. Your sinuses seem like one big hotbed of germs and infections – but did you know those problems could be related to your teeth?
The pain associated with sinus infections can be located in quite a few places, but at Overmeyer Family Dental we see a lot of patients worried about the pain in their teeth. There are a couple common problems that we find that link their chronic sinus infections to their teeth, and they aren’t pretty.
A Legacy Of Oral Health Problems?
For many patients suffering from maxillary sinus infections (those are the sinuses just above your teeth) there doesn’t seem to be a connection to their teeth, but several studies have shed a different light on that – in fact, about 20 percent of maxillary sinus infections are directly connected to oral health problems, specifically in the molars and premolars.
If you’ve noticed any decay, gum disease, or pain in the rear of your mouth there is cause for concern, so you should definitely plan to come in and see us at our Orlando dentist office. Chronic pain can indicate a serious health concern that needs to be investigated!
Why Does Oral Health Affect The Sinuses?
The bone between your maxillary sinuses and the roots of your molars is incredibly thin. So much so that severely infected teeth and gums can easily spread the infection to your sinuses. In many cases this is because of an abscess of the teeth or gums, which can cause serious long term damage!
An abscess is a pocket of infection that forms as a result of tooth decay or gum disease. Without treatment an abscess can continue to grow, eventually passing beyond the tooth or gums and into the bone. Once there it can actually destroy bone tissue and reach the sinuses, where it can continue to do damage.
The cases of an abscess destroying bone are rare, but infection can still spread beyond the teeth and gums and into the sinuses!
The most common way for a dental abscess to occur is when the root of a tooth is infected. This occurs when a cavity reaches the center of a tooth, which contains soft material called dental pulp. The pulp is easily infected by oral bacteria, and without treatment it’s easy for the infection to move beyond the tooth and into the bone.
Abscesses can also occur in advanced cases of gum disease. If you have been suffering from periodontitis for a while you may notice pus between your gums and teeth along with severe gum recession. If there is any visible infection it’s possible that an abscess has developed. Over time it can spread toward the bone and sinus cavity, eventually spreading dangerous bacteria into a space that is just perfect for it.
Treating Dental Abscesses
Because abscessed teeth are far more common than abscessed gums the most common treatment is a root canal. While they might have a bad reputation, don’t worry – we perform root canals under anesthesia and sedation if desired. The end result will be a tooth that is safe, protected by a crown, and no longer infected. You’ll also significantly lower your chance of developing a sinus infection because of the elimination of dangerous bacteria!
In the case of abscessed gums we can often treat you using our gum disease treatments. In some cases of severe infection oral surgery may be necessary. While these cases are rare it’s prompt treatment that keeps them that way! If you’re concerned about chronic sinus infections or gum disease don’t wait for treatment!
If Your Sinuses Make Your Teeth Hurt Come See Us!
Because 20 percent of maxillary sinus infections are linked to unhealthy teeth it’s a good idea to eliminate that possibility with a visit to our Orlando office. If you’re worried about gum disease, a toothache, or chronic infections in your maxillary sinuses an appointment could make all the difference!