Health Spotlight: How Chronic Sinus Infections Affect Your Teeth, (and Vice Versa!)

Have you ever thought about the connection between your teeth and your sinuses? Perhaps you have had a sinus infection and had a bad toothache at the same time. The truth is, the sinuses and the teeth (especially the top teeth) exist in very close proximity—so it’s no surprise when one hurts, the other may as well. But maybe you never thought about how this proximity can affect your health.

chronic sinusitisHow Sinuses and Teeth are Connected

Sinusitis (sinus infection) can cause a toothache, (usually in the top molars) due to proximity with the sinuses. Symptoms of sinusitis also include pressure, headaches, as well as swollen and tender skin around the nose and eyes, and fever. In short, a sinus infection is miserable!

Sinus Infections and Dry Mouth

The mouth needs saliva to stay clean and wash food particles and bacteria away. When you breathe out of your mouth instead of your nose (as happens when you have a cold or sinus infection), you create an environment where bacteria can grow, enamel is damaged, and your teeth can become weakened. People with chronic sinus infections often also have had multiple cavities.

Extreme Situations

There is one type of sinusitis, maxillary sinusitis can actually be caused by a dental issue. Maxillary sinusitis is an inflammation of the maxillary sinus. The maxillary sinus is the largest of your sinuses. The maxillary sinus is very close to the maxillary teeth and can often be seen on a dental x-ray above the molar and pre-molar teeth in the upper jaw. The proximity makes it possible for an infection of the teeth to spread to the sinuses. This is further worsened if a dental infection or dental/oral surgery ruptures the Schneiderian membrane, (the barrier that protects the maxillary sinus cavity).

Caring for your oral and sinus health goes hand-in-hand. If you have concerns, we are here for you at Caffaratti Dental Group in Sparks, NV. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.