There are times when complications arise due to the presence of tooth roots in the sinus cavity. The sinuses are air filled spaces which are present inside the skull. These air filled spaces are prone to infections and one of the causes for these infections might be the presence of tooth roots inside the maxillary sinus. These tooth roots may carry infection and the condition is known as a sinus toothache. This usually happens when the roots of the maxillary upper molars lie very close to the sinus floor or sometimes even cross it and lie in the sinus itself. The infection leads to a swelling of the lining mucosa of the sinus which leads to a blockage of the nasal tracts. If the infection is left untreated then the sinus gets filled by mucus and the accumulation of bacteria further increases. All these factors lead to the development of severe pain which is felt by the patient concerned.
The tooth roots that lie in the sinus or close to the sinus are further affected by the increase in pressure due to the blockage of the sinus. Many a times there may be no decay or for that matter any problem associated with the sinus and one may still feel pain in that region. The severity of the pain would be determined by the level of infection and the closeness of the tooth roots to the sinus floor. It is not a very easy task to make out a sinus tooth-ache as the symptoms in case of pain due to tooth decay are almost the same. The difference usually lies in the intensity and the nature of the pain. The pain associated with a sinus toothache is usually sharp and sudden whereas the pain in case of a problem associated with the tooth is usually sharp, throbbing and lingers on for some time.
.Sometimes there may be associated swelling along with the pain that the patient feels which can further complicate the diagnosis. One thing that can help in the diagnosis is recording a proper medical history of the patient that should include any recent bout of cold that the patient has suffered from. In such cases one can suspect a case of sinus toothache. There are also a few other conditions that must be kept in mind when diagnosing such a patient which are temporo-mandibular joint problems and facial infections. An important feature that may help in distinguishing a sinus toothache from other conditions is that in such cases the patient feels a relief from pain on lying down. An IOPA i.e. a radiograph of the root area of the tooth can help in ruling out any tooth related problems.
Sinus toothache patients may also complain of a running nose, throat infections, loss of appetite and a feeling of tiredness as well as nagging headaches. Dealing with sinus toothaches is a tough task and the aim should be to treat the infection in the sinus so that the patient gets relief from the pain. Drainage should be established to remove the mucus accumulated inside the sinus. After the infection is dealt with the pain should subside on its own.
A combination of various drugs is also used to deal with such conditions which include antibiotics and nasal decongestants. The infection requires around two weeks dealing with and the medications are usually prescribed for this period. Other precautions to be taken during this period include having food that is soft in consistency and chewing from the other side. Also once the infection is completely resolved try and fix up an appointment with the dentist to rule out any tooth related problems.