Sinuses and Your Teeth | Delmarva Dental Services

Sinuses and Your Teeth

Slide1 (2)Sinus pressure can be miserable, causing pain in your head, eyes, ears and even your teeth. Conversely, not only can your sinus pressure affect your teeth; but an infected tooth can affect your sinuses. At Delmarva Dental Services we have seen patients who have had sinus surgery when all they needed was a root canal. We have also seen patients who have had root canals and extractions because of an undiagnosed sinus problem. So let’s learn more about sinuses so we can better understand the relationship between our sinuses and teeth. The maxillary sinus cavity is located under your eyes and above your teeth. It has channels which connect it to the other sinuses such as the nasal, ethmoid, frontal, the ears and the back of the throat. Sinuses produce mucous to warm the air you breathe. The mucous also contains chemicals which cause bacteria to dislodge. The hairs (cilia) in your sinuses beat and move the mucous containing dust, pollutants, bacteria & viruses down the throat and into the stomach. This is called mucociliary clearance or MCC. Here the stomach acid destroys the bad stuff. When the mucous becomes thick, the cilia slow down, the channels get blocked and fluid builds. The mucociliary clearance (MCC) decreases. The fluid becomes stagnant, builds pressure and becomes a breeding pool for bacteria and viruses. It is also a major source of bad breath. The very bottom of the maxillary sinus sits on top of the roots of the upper back teeth. When pressure builds up in the sinus it can cause the teeth to become sore, ache, hurt to bite, be sensitive to cold and even feel like the “bite” is off. On the other hand, an abscess at the end of the root of an upper tooth can drain into the sinus and lead to chronic sinus problems as well. It is important to remember how closely your sinuses and teeth relate to each other. If you start to have toothache, ask yourself, “Have my sinuses been bothering me lately?” and if you start to have chronic sinus problems, maybe it is your teeth that are the root of the cause. This is one reason among many to have good, regular checkups with your dentist and tell him or her if you are experiencing any sinus issues. Another great thing you can do for yourself is to use a Xylitol sinus spray regularly to keep things flowing in your sinuses, possibly preventing issues there.