One of the worst possible experiences is having a toothache since it gives a throbbing and aching feel which radiates from your mouth to the jaw; worse, a toothache eventually leads to a headache. The source of a toothache isn’t necessarily your teeth as it can be a blocked sinus too. In that case, all we want to know is how long does a sinus toothache last.
A sinus toothache, as the name implies, is a consequence of the problems that affect the sinuses. The sinuses are a connected system of air-filled spaces which are small, and they are located behind the forehead and the cheekbones.
While sinus toothaches aren’t necessarily serious, they can surely be very painful and can interfere with your daily life. Hence, we will give you more information on this subject.
What Is a Sinus Infection?
Sinus infection or sinusitis is an inflammation of the tissue lining of the sinus cavities. The cause of this inflammation could be viruses, bacteria, or fungi, but common cold or allergies can also trigger a sinus infection.
Sinus infection is a widespread condition and is typically considered a non-contagious disease. However, it is always advisable for people with a sinus infection to avoid any direct contact with anyone who is also vulnerable to the same condition, especially elderly folks, young children, or someone whose immune system is weak.
The upside is that sinus infections are mostly mild cases, which means seldom does it lead to any serious issue. This infection responds well to lifestyle measures, but most of the time, the treatment involves nothing more than rest and increase intake of fluids. At times, it goes away itself without any treatment.
The downside, even though this infection is mild, is that its symptoms can be quite bothersome. While these symptoms can vary, the main ones typically include:
- Several nasal symptoms which include nasal congestion and/or nasal discharge. If the discharge is green in color, it indicates that there is an infection.
- Pain and/or pressure over and around the affected sinus such as around your eyes and face.
- Some other symptoms could include headaches, cough, fever, persistent cold, bad breath, and a decreased sense of smell.
- There is a possibility that the infection could spread and even reach the brain but this is extremely rare. Again, sinus infections are typically quite mild and harmless and rarely ever lead to any serious complications.
What Causes a Sinus Toothache?
A toothache refers to pain or an ache around and/in your teeth, and the reason for it is mainly tooth decay. This is the pain you usually feel when the dental pulp, which is the tooth’s innermost layer, gets inflamed. Other than tooth decay, receding gums, cracked tooth, and a periapical abscess are some of the common reasons for toothaches.
While most people tend to associate toothaches with the mouth, sinus infections also play a significant role in a toothache. This kind of a toothache is similar to the ones that are caused by your teeth and gums.
That is because the sinuses are extremely close to the teeth, so any pressure on the sinus can put pressure on the teeth too. When you have a sinus infection, and it gets inflamed, it will likely cause pain in the upper rear teeth or around the whole upper jaw. In most cases, it is rare for the pain to affect the bottom set of teeth.
Can You Differentiate Between a Regular Toothache and a Sinus Toothache?
The pain of a regular toothache and sinus toothache can get very difficult to differentiate, as they are quite alike. While only a dentist can conclusively say from where the pain is arising, there are a few ways by which you can gauge where the pain is coming from.
The first one being that in sinus toothaches, you will mostly find your entire upper set of teeth hurting, unlike a regular toothache which would only affect the tooth itself. Also, an X-ray can help better determine whether there are any visible signs of tooth decays or cavities. Lastly, if you find yourself suddenly experiencing tooth sensitivity, especially to temperature, it is most likely a sinus toothache.
How Long Does a Sinus Toothache Last?
As mentioned earlier, a sinus infection can be extremely painful, and it mostly affects the upper jaw. This symptom can be quite difficult to deal with but is not very serious. Furthermore, it does not do any actual harm to your teeth.
A sinus toothache starts to improve only once the inflammation of the sinus that is affected starts to relieve. While it can vary, it can take anywhere from a couple of days to weeks.
There are a couple of factors that affect how long the symptoms subside, and they include:
- The kind of sinus infection you have, which is either chronic or acute. Chronic sinusitis takes eight weeks or longer, so a sinus toothache may take as long as that.
- What you have done to help relieve the sinus inflammation quickly also affects how long the toothache will last. While antibiotics are one of the treatments you could choose, home remedies also work well, and they help promote quick recovery.
- The duration of a sinus toothache also depends on your immune system. If your immune system works optimally, then it will help heal the infection and the toothache quicker.
How Do You Treat a Sinus Toothache?
It goes without saying that to treat your sinus toothache, you have to manage your sinusitis. There is nothing you can do to your teeth that will help relieve the pain.
Generally, home remedies are an ideal solution, but if the infection is severe, you can try using a nasal or an oral decongestant to relieve some of the pressure. You can also have an over-the-counter pain reliever to help ease the pain. Lastly, you can consult your physician to provide you with appropriate treatment.
Knowing how long does a sinus toothache last is essential when you are trying to determine what is the cause of a toothache. Most cases of sinus infections resolve themselves. If a toothache becomes unbearable, you can buy some over-the-counter pain relievers.
However, if you find the symptoms becoming severe and unmanageable, you must seek medical help as quickly as you can. While sinusitis is usually harmless, in rare cases, it can lead to severe complications, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.