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Duane J. Taylor, MD
Could Your Dental Pain Be Caused By Sinusitis?
LeVisage, ENT and Facial Plastic Surgery
. http://www.levisageentfps.com/

Could Your Dental Pain Be Caused By Sinusitis?

Sinusitis is estimated to affect about 37 million people per year, It is one of the most common health problems in the United States and accounts for about eight billion dollars in health care expenditures per year. Sinusitis accounts for approximately 18 million office visits per year .

The sinuses, which include frontal, maxillary, ethmoid and sphenoid, are air-filled cavities in the head which open and drain into the nose. The sinuses are located in the region of the cheeks are known as the maxillary sinuses. These sinuses are in close proximity to the tooth roots of the upper teeth located toward the back of the mouth, and sometimes can even enter the floor of these sinuses.

When these maxillary sinuses are affected by a viral or bacterial infection one of the symptoms can be dental pain and might cause these patients to initially present to their dentist. Usually dental pain related to the sinuses is not just localized to one tooth but is more generalized or impacts several teeth.

Other symptoms that are usually associated with sinus infections can be chronic nasal blockage/congestion, colored postnasal drainage, headaches, fever, and facial pain located in other areas. Fluid within the maxillary sinuses and evidence of infection may be identified on some dental X-rays.

Sinus infections are usually looked at as being acute (less than four weeks) or chronic (which can be present for years). Most acute infections are viral and the body tends to get rid of them within 10 days.

Those individuals who are more prone to infections such as those who are diabetic, immune-compromised or have chronic infections should be more concerned about those acute infections.

Chronic sinus infections lasting greater than six weeks are best evaluated and treated by ear, nose and throat physicians and may be confirmed with screening CT scans.

Treatment modalities might involve antibiotics, nasal steroid sprays, decongestants along with treatment of underlying allergies.

Whatever the cause of your dental pain make sure you don't ignore it. See your dentist first since a small percentage of dental pain overall is caused by the sinuses.

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