Is That Toothache for Real?


preventive dental care Houston, TXBeing in the midst of cold and flu season means that we need to take extra precautions with our health. It is also a good time to talk about how a cold or flu may affect your mouth. The connection between that coughing and sneezing and congestion and the mouth isn’t so much related to oral health as it is to overall comfort. Believe it or not, a certain type of cold can cause tooth pain. Knowing this, you can better face this problem should it occur.

Pain from the Unexpected Cavity

Usually, when tooth pain occurs, we worry that a cavity has developed. However, there is another cavity in which pain may originate, the sinus cavity. The maxillary sinus sits in proximity to the roots that branch off the upper, back molars. Roots are highly sensitive because they have nerves and blood vessels coursing through them. These particular roots are only a paper-thickness away from the sinus cavity. Therefore, they may be affected if inflammation occurs in the sinuses.

Where is Pain Coming From?

It may be possible to tell the difference between what we call a sinus toothache and an authentic “oops; there’s a cavity” a toothache. Keep in mind, though, that any question about where tooth pain is coming from should be taken to your dentist. If you are unsure about the origin of pain, contact a Royal Dental office near you.

One way that a sinus toothache may present differently than a cavity is in extensiveness. Often, a cavity will cause localized sensitivity and then pain. A sinus toothache is more likely to affect all teeth on an arch with sensitivity and pain. Also, the pain of a sinus toothache is rather inconsistent. It may feel better if you take medication for congestion, and it may seem worse when you bend over or move your head.

If you experience what you think may be a sinus toothache, pay attention to see if symptoms improve with decongestant medication or with a warm compress. If a toothache does not resolve along with your cold, schedule an office visit for a full exam.

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