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Do I Have a Sinus Infection or a Toothache? 

added on: November 14, 2022

Sinusitis, also known as a sinus infection, can have similar symptoms to a toothache, and you may be wondering which may be affecting you. The good news is that your dentist in Gainesville knows the difference between the tell-tale signs of a toothache versus those of a sinus infection. Let’s take a look at the similarities and differences. 

Symptoms of Both a Sinus Infection & a Toothache

Sinus infections can cause tooth pain, although a tooth may not be the underlying problem. Knowing the difference between a sinus infection and a toothache can help you get the proper help you need to relieve discomfort. First, the common signs that are apparent in both a sinus infection and a toothache include: 

  • Headaches
  • Fever
  • Bad Breath
  • Tooth Pain

It may be difficult to understand where these symptoms are originating from, so now let’s look at the difference between a toothache that’s caused by a sinus problem and one caused by a dental problem.

The Difference Between a Toothache & Sinus Pain

Any type of pain is uncomfortable, but your dentist in Gainesville knows that tooth pain has a unique feeling and can cause alarm. It’s incredibly common for patients to not know the difference between actual tooth pain and tooth pain that’s caused by a sinus infection. 

Sinus Infection Symptoms

  • Pain in the top molars
  • Tooth pain that gets worse when bending over
  • Pain that spreads to several teeth
  • Runny nose 
  • Sore throat
  • Postnasal drip

Toothache Symptoms

While toothaches can have some of the symptoms of a sinus infection, there are some key differences: 

  • Sensitivity to hot and cold
  • Painful or swollen gums
  • Pain when chewing
  • Isolated pain in certain teeth

The Sinus Cavity

Why can a sinus infection cause tooth pain in the first place? Well, it all comes back to anatomy. The sinus cavity is located around the forehead behind the eyes as well as on the sides of the nose, and tooth roots of some teeth are really close to the area. This is why when the sinus cavity becomes inflamed as a result of infection it can be felt in the teeth. 

Can a Sinus Infection Cause Pain in Other Teeth Other Than the Molars?

It’s unlikely that a sinus infection will cause pain in other teeth other than the top back molars. Since the roots of the top back teeth are close to the sinus cavity, pain during a sinus infection is most likely to occur in this area. A toothache in the front teeth or lower teeth may be a clear sign of a dental problem and should be checked by your dentist in Gainesville. If you’re experiencing jaw pain, it’s also wise to see your dentist. This discomfort can be attributed to many things, including a sinus infection, tooth troubles, or a misaligned bite. 

Long story short, any type of tooth pain should be looked at by your dentist. If they determine the cause isn’t related to something happening in your mouth, they may refer you to another type of doctor to get a proper diagnosis and treatment. 

We have dental offices across Northern Virginia, including in Manassas, Reston, Gainesville, Fairfax, and Herndon. Call the dentist closest to you to schedule an appointment today!