If you’re having some issues with your sinuses but allergy medicine just isn’t helping, we’ve got one possibility you may have overlooked. It could be your wisdom teeth. But how can wisdom teeth cause sinus pain?
To answer that question, you’ll need to know a little bit more about where exactly your sinuses run and how they’re connected to your teeth.
How Your Teeth and Sinuses Are Related
Sinuses are a complex system of airflow and drainage passageways that connect the nasal cavities to your respiratory system. They’re hollow spaces that are found in your skull and facial bones.
There are four pairs of sinuses, named after the bone they can be found in:
- Maxillary sinuses – located on either side of your nose behind the cheekbone or upper jaws. These are the largest set of sinuses.
- Frontal sinuses – located in the center of your forehead above each eye.
- Ethmoid sinuses – found on either side of the bridge of your nose near the eyes. This group is made up of three small pairs of sinuses.
- Sphenoid sinuses – found deeper in the skull behind the eyes.
When it comes to your teeth, the ones that will come into play are the maxillary sinuses. Because of their location, if your teeth are having issues, they can cause problems for those sinuses, too.
Can Wisdom Teeth Cause Sinus Pain?
In short, yes, wisdom teeth can cause sinus pain. Here’s how.
As your wisdom teeth grow in, the roots can put pressure on those maxillary sinuses. That will lead to congestion and pain. If you’re getting recurring sinus headaches and haven’t had your wisdom teeth removed, they could be the cause of those ongoing headaches.
Your wisdom teeth, and other teeth for that matter, can also lead to a sinus infection sometimes. If the tooth becomes infected, that infection can spread to those nearby sinus cavities. You may experience a fever, sinus pain, nasal discharge, and even bad breath if this is happening to you.
The reverse is also true. If you’ve got a sinus infection, it can lead to tooth pain or a tooth infection if it’s not treated. Due to the location of the sinuses, this usually only happens with your upper teeth in the back of the mouth.
If your tooth pain is limited to those upper molars and you are feeling lethargic or have a fever, it’s likely the cause is a sinus infection. When the pain is in the lower teeth or limited to just the tooth and isn’t causing a fever or tiredness, it’s likely to be just an oral issue and not the sinuses.
Extract the Pain
When wisdom teeth can cause a problem for your oral health, a dentist will recommend you get them extracted. A wisdom teeth extraction can help alleviate sinus pain and eliminate other issues those teeth can cause, like tension headaches and jaw pain.
If you’re having an issue you think may be related to your wisdom teeth, bring it up when you’re talking to your dentist. If they deem it necessary to have a wisdom teeth extraction, they will usually have to refer you to an oral surgeon to get it taken care of. It may seem like a scary thing to have done, but it will provide you with long-lasting relief in the long run.