Sinus infections aren’t fun for anybody. They bring a host of unpleasant symptoms, and are one of the most common infections a person can get. Sometimes we can deal with it on our own, if it’s more serious, we need antibiotic intervention. Sinuses are finicky, and they can flare up due to allergies, weather changes, and… toothaches?
What is a sinus infection?
There are a lot of different cavities in our skulls. Our sinuses are a series of compartments, located above and below our eyes, and behind the nose, that warm and moisturize air as we breathe. The mucus within catches any wayward germs, and for the most part, they keep themselves clean. Occasionally, conditions can change enough to allow for the growth of bacteria. This is when we get a sinus infection.
Symptoms of a sinus infection include:
- Scratchy throat
- Runny nose
- Post-nasal drip
- Pain in the forehead, around the eyes, in teeth and jaws
So how can a tooth cause a sinus infection
Our lower sinus, called the Maxillary sinus, sits very close to the upper jaw. So close in fact, that if there is an abscess in the teeth or gums, it can actually expand into the sinus. An abscess is a pocket of infection, caused by a trapped food particle, or a dying tooth nerve. If an abscess reaches your sinus cavity, the infection can spill over into the sinuses, causing a sinus infection.
What do I do if I have an abscess causing a sinus infection?
This is a battle that must be fought on two fronts. Your dentist will need to take the necessary steps to treat the abscess. Oftentimes, antibiotics will be prescribed to reduce swelling and curb the infection in the abscess. Depending on its location and type, the abscess may need to be drained or removed. If the abscess started within a tooth, a root canal will be required. If left too long, the entire tooth may need to be removed.
Once the abscess is taken care of, you’ll be able to see your primary care physician to get the sinus infection taken care of. However, with the source of the infection removed, you may find that you can beat the rest of it on your own. Your dentist will go over everything with you!
Do you suffer from chronic sinus infections? There may be a deeper issue. Come see Dr. Chauvin to make sure the cause isn’t tooth related!