Is It a Toothache or Sinus Pressure?

Pain around your teeth is most often a symptom of dental issues, but it might also be related to inflammation or an infection in your sinuses. Here are some tips to help you tell the difference between a toothache and sinus pressure.

 

How Sinuses Affect Teeth

Sinuses are air-filled spaces close to your jaw joint. When working properly, they produce and drain  protective mucus to defend the nose against pollutants and dust. If the sinuses become inflamed or infected, the buildup of fluid can cause you to feel pressure on surrounding tissues. 


Your sinuses sit close to the nerves of your teeth and the roots of your upper molars. Conditions like sinusitis, infection, allergies or even a simple cold may create congestion, causing discomfort around your teeth and jaw. In some cases, swelling related to sinus congestion may even force a shift in the position or alignment of your teeth.

 

Sinus Pain Vs. Toothaches

Sinus-related pain will typically accompany other symptoms such as a runny nose, headache, cough or fever. The pain you feel around your teeth won’t be localized to a single tooth but will likely affect a section of your teeth or possibly your entire jaw. With sinus problems, the tooth pain you experience tends to be a general ache rather than acute.


Pain resulting from dental issues is usually limited to a precise location, either a particular tooth or a specific area in your jaw. If you have an abscessed tooth or a cavity, the discomfort you feel will probably be more intense than a sinus-related ache. In this case, the pain will likely be persistent rather than come and go, and it may grow in severity until you can get it treated.

 

When to See a Medical Professional

The differences between sinus pain and a toothache aren’t always clear. Sinus problems may cause you to experience referred pain in your lower jaw. This pain is easy to mistake for a dental issue because of the proximity of your sinuses to your teeth.


Some serious tooth problems may be accompanied by other symptoms like fever and fatigue, making you think you have a sinus infection. Whenever you have pain that doesn’t resolve within a day or two, it’s best to see a professional. 

 

Family Dentistry in SE Calgary

Count on the friendly staff at Forest Lawn Dental Centre in SE Calgary to answer your questions about tooth or jaw pain. Whether you need a quick exam or an emergency procedure, our dentists are here for you and your family. We provide affordable dental care and can accommodate your dental emergency needs, usually on the same day. Contact Forest Lawn Dental to book your appointment.