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Tooth Pain or Sinus Problem?

Rodney Baier, DDS
September 18, 2023

Is your toothache due to seasonal allergies?

Summer is just around the corner and Spring is officially coming to an end.  For those who suffer from seasonal allergies, they can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.  The most common side effects for people with seasonal allergies are headaches, runny noses, itchy eyes, sneezing, coughing, and the list goes on.  A surprising side effect that most people do not connect with seasonal allergies is sensitive teeth.

Studies have shown that sinus inflammation from seasonal allergies can build pressure in the sinuses and push down on the roots of your upper molars and premolars.  This increased pressure can lead to hypersensitivity to cold and hot, pain when biting, and constant throbbing.  These symptoms mirror the symptoms of an infected tooth which can be alarming, especially if you make proper dental care a priority!

Tooth Pain or Sinus Problems? How to know the difference.

However, there are several things that can help identify tooth pain from sinus problems.  If you notice that the pain level changes when you stand, sit, and lie down, chances are the shifts in pressure in your sinuses are the reason for the fluctuations in your pain.  If you notice that you have pain from pressure around your nasal passages and forehead area when your teeth hurt, they are likely related. Another indicator is if you get any relief when taking antihistamines and decongestants.

While tooth pain from allergies may not be from a more serious condition such as a virus, tooth infection, cavities, or gingivitis, it is very important to protect the health of your mouth and teeth especially during allergy season.  A dry mouth and a sore throat caused by allergies can lead to oral health complications that are more serious.  There are two ways allergies can cause a dry mouth, one is from the side effects of antihistamines and the other is from breathing through your mouth when your nose is stuffed up.

Having a dry mouth is not only uncomfortable, but is a breeding ground for bacteria and increases your chance of developing cavities, gum disease and bad breath since you do not have enough saliva to wash the bacteria away.  One way you can combat dry mouth is by drinking lots of water.  Staying hydrated will not only help keep your mouth from feeling dry, but will also help flush your body of excess mucus.

It is important to recognize the side effects of seasonal allergies and know how your body reacts during certain times of the year.  However, if you are concerned that the tooth pain you are experiencing may be caused by something other than allergies it is always best to consult with Dr. Baier as soon as possible! We can help properly determine the cause of your discomfort and find the best solution for you.

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