Sinus Infection Cause Tooth Pain

What is the connection?

Can Sinus Infection Cause Tooth Pain?

Sinus infection, or sinusitis, occurs when viruses or bacteria infect sinus linings. The result can be uncomfortable symptoms, including facial pain and pressure, runny nose, headaches. But the question which always arises is can sinus infection cause tooth pain?

This article will focus on why someone may experience a toothache related to their sinus infection and when to call a doctor.

Anatomy of the sinus

A sinus infection can put pressure on the stock nerves on Inflammation arising the question can sinus infection cause tooth pain?

Sinuses are cavities that are filled with air. A short hair called cilia has a sinus line. Cilia help to move air, mucus and bacteria or viruses through hair filtration.

The sinuses allow air to flow and heat the air that enters through the nose.

The sinuses present in the skull include the following:

  • Frontal sinuses: These paired sinuses are in the frontal bone above the eyebrows that make up a person’s forehead.
  • Sphenoid sinus: The only uncontrolled sinus in the head, the schenoid sinus, is slightly deeper in the skull, which is located near the optic nerve and pituitary gland in the brain.
  • Ethmoid sinus: This collection of air cells is in the ethmoid bone between the eyes and at the top of the nose. This bone separates the nasal cavity from the brain.
  • Ethmoid sinus: This collection of air cells is in the ethmoid bone between the eyes and at the top of the nose. This bone separates the nasal cavity from the brain.
  • Maxillary sinus: These are large, paired sinuses behind the cheekbones on either side of the nose. They are pyramidal-shaped and have the largest sinus of the head.

Without sinus, a person’s head would be heavy. Sinuses also help determine the sound of a person’s voice, as their voice resonates or changes with the vibration of air in the sinuses.

Can sinus infection cause tooth pain?

A sinus infection can cause tooth pain. According to an earlier article in the British Dental Journal, the most common sinus infection site that causes dental pain is the maxillary sinus.

The sinuses, teeth, and gums all share similar veins that can transmit pain signals.

Inflammation due to sinus infection or dental disease can press on these nerves, which can cause pain. A person may interpret these signs as dental pain.

Can a dental infection cause a sinus infection?

Yes, a tooth infection can cause a sinus infection.

As an evidence review from 2012, it was estimated that 40% of chronic maxillary sinus infections were due to dental infections.

Older studies estimate this amount to be around 10%, but advances in imaging such as CT scans have revealed dental infections as the more common underlying cause.

As the posterior part of the teeth is close to the maxillary sinus, infectious organisms can travel to these cavities.

A person with this type of infection will have symptoms of maxillary sinus infection. They may also have the following risk factors related to their teeth:

  • History of the jaw or dental pain
  • History of or current dental infection
  • History of endodontic, oral or periodontal surgery, especially dental extracts

This type of infection requires antibiotics and treatment of the underlying infection in the tooth or teeth. This approach helps reduce the likelihood of infection returning.

Sinus tooth pain

A doctor will look into the difference in symptoms to help diagnose a toothache that is causing a sinus infection or a dental problem.

A sinus infection can cause:

  1. Interfere with a person’s sense of smell
  2. One-sided nasal blockage, or a stuffy nose
  3. Runny nose, usually on one side

Sinusitis can be isolated and may indicate a dental problem. Signs include:

  • Toothache with a change in temperature, such as something cold or hot from eating or drinking
  • Facial swelling
  • Gingivitis near the teeth
  • Near tooth pain

Occasionally, imaging studies, such as CT scans, may indicate underlying problems with a tooth or denture.

Other symptoms of sinusitis

A person with sinusitis will usually have a history of recent upper respiratory tract infections, such as a cold. They will recover from the cold and then start experiencing sinusitis symptoms.

  • Nasal discharge
  • Facial pain
  • Nasal congestion

Some people experience chronic sinusitis because their sinuses do not drain well. Their symptoms may last 8–12 weeks. People with chronic sinusitis are less likely to experience dental pain or facial pain than people with acute sinusitis.

Home Remedies

A doctor may recommend home remedies which include:

Nasal Irrigation: Irrigating the nasal cavity with a warm or room temperature saline solution to cause mucus drainage.

Topical Decongestants: Using topical decongestants, such as ephedrine, may allow more air to flow through the sinuses. A person should not use decongestant for more than 7 days.

Hot Compress: Keeping compresses hot in sinus areas can reduce pressure. Examples include the top of the forehead and both sides of the nose.

Relaxation and fluids: By relaxing and drinking lots of water, people will be helped to thin their nasal secretions.


An exception to the treatment of sinusitis at home is when a person has a fever, or the infection begins to spread beyond the sinus, such as in the ear.

One can also benefit from antibiotics from the pus-filled nasal discharge. The treatment for infectious sinusitis is amoxicillin. If a person is allergic to amoxicillin, the doctor may prescribe Doxycycline or Clarithromycin.

If a person experiences persistent sinusitis that affects their breathing and quality of life, their doctor may recommend sinus surgery.

Surgery can widen the sinus passages to reduce the possibility of infection and burns.

When to see a doctor

A person should see a doctor if they experience the following symptoms:

  • Severe sinus pain
  • Fever that lasts more than 3-4 days
  • Severe dental pain
  • Can’t eat due to facial pain

Symptoms that last for more than 10 days without improvement.

If a person has multiple sinus infections during a year, they should seek medical treatment. A doctor can advise them on how to reduce the risks of getting a chronic infection.


Can “sinus infection cause tooth pain“?

Yes, it can.