If you're one of the 10% of adults who suffer from sinus infections, according to the Royal College of Surgeons, you know how painful they can be. The addition of sinus infection tooth pain caused by pressure in your nasal cavity can be all the more distressing if you're unaware of this side effect.
It's important to determine whether a sinus infection is the cause of your toothache, though. Reach out to your doctor if you have a cold turned sinus infection, or contact your dentist if you think the pain comes from your teeth
The National Health Service (NHS) defines sinusitis as a common condition in which the lining of the sinuses becomes inflamed and commonly an acute sinus infection is experienced after a cold or flu. This begins in your maxillary sinuses, located just above your molar teeth roots, and can swell with the build-up of bacterial or viral mucus. The pressure it puts on dental nerve endings can cause a painful sensation on one or more of your teeth.
If you have a sinus infection, the best way to get rid of your tooth pain is to target the backlog of mucus. IIf your symptoms are mild and have lasted less than a week or so, you can usually take care of yourself without seeing your GP.
You may feel better until you recover by following the below tips:
NHS recommends to take over-the-counter painkillers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen to relieve a high temperature and pain – check the leaflet that comes with your medication first to check it’s suitable, and never give aspirin to children under 16 years of age.
Use over-the-counter decongestant nasal sprays or drops to help unblock your nose and allow you to breathe more easily – these shouldn’t be used for more than a week at a time.
Apply warm packs to your face to soothe your pain and help mucus drain from your sinuses.
Regularly clean the inside of your nose with a salt water solution to help unblock your nose and reduce nasal discharge.
Cleaning inside your nose
You can clean the inside of your nose using either a home-made salt water solution or a solution made with sachets of ingredients bought from a pharmacy.
To make the solution at home, mix a teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda into a pint of boiled water that has been left to cool. To rinse your nose:
wash and dry your hands
stand over a sink, cup the palm of one hand and pour a small amount of the solution into it
sniff the water into one nostril at a time
Repeat these steps until your nose feels more comfortable (you may not need to use all of the solution). You should make a fresh solution each day. Don’t re-use a solution made the day before.
Position Your Head for the Best Drainage
When resting, keep your head in a propped, tilted position. Lying horizontally can cause blockage and continued pressure, but sleeping with some of your upper body propped up is a better way to drain the pain.
It's especially hard to practice good oral care when you have tooth pain and the area in your upper jaw may be swollen. However, it is important to maintain proper oral hygiene - so try your best to gently brush the teeth in vulnerable areas with a soft toothbrush with a small brush head that allows you to enter the swollen area. Try these tips along the way, while seeking out your doctor or dentist in conjunction with consistent home care.