The Root Cause of Some Sinus Infections

TOOTH DECAY, CAVITIES, and infections can overlap with headaches and sinus problems. In some...

TOOTH DECAY, CAVITIES, and infections can overlap with headaches and sinus problems. In some cases, a patient might only experience sinus problems instead of any symptoms that would point to a dental issue.

Tooth Roots Can Intersect With the Sinuses

Tooth infections don’t always hurt. If an upper molar becomes infected, the infection can work its way into the sinuses and cause sinus infections. Patients and clinicians don’t always recognize that this is what’s happening, and the clinician then recommends treatment for a sinus infection instead of an infected tooth. The patient may develop maxillary sinusitis of endodontic origin (MSEO) if the tooth isn’t treated.

Misleading Symptoms

The symptoms of MSEO look a lot like symptoms of a regular sinus infection: runny nose, congestion, post-nasal drip, a foul odor and taste, and facial pain. The typical symptoms of tooth infection, like temperature sensitivity, tenderness while chewing, and tooth pain tend to be absent. The tooth has already died and the pressure that normally builds painfully around an infected tooth is able to escape into the sinuses instead.

The Endodontist Can Help

Doctors or ear, nose, and throat specialists can treat recurring sinus infections for years without realizing they’re being fueled by an infected tooth. Prescribed antibiotics temporarily relieve the symptoms, but they can’t eliminate the source of the bacteria, which is the tooth. The only solution that will actually put a stop to sinus infections like this is root canal therapy.

Top image used under CC0 Public Domain license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.
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