Sniffling, stuffiness, frequent headaches—sound familiar? Sinus infections plague about 12% of adults. You may find it surprising to discover that about 20% of those sinus infections can be directly related to your oral health—especially your molars and premolars.
How Is It Connected?
Commonly, sinus infection occurs in the maxillary sinuses, which are located in the upper jaw area underneath the eye sockets near the back of the cheekbones. There is only a thin layer between the sinuses and the roots of your molars. In some patients, there is so little bone there that implants and other dental procedures are difficult or impossible. If your teeth or gums in that area get infected, it is very easy to spread to the sinuses.
Abscesses, often in the root of the tooth, contain bacteria. When an abscess grows into the bone and sinus, that bacteria is spread causing infection. Impacted wisdom teeth, fractured crowns, and cavities can also result in maxillary sinus infection.
This can happen the other way as well. Infection of the sinus, known as sinusitis, may spread infection to the gums and cause pain and abscesses. Sinusitis may also lead to bad breath, especially if the throat becomes involved. If regular brushing and other good oral hygiene practices don’t eliminate the odor, it could mean that it isn’t just halitosis, but may be sinusitis.
It is easy to treat the symptoms of infected sinuses without addressing the cause. If you have lingering sinus pain, especially pain that seems to involve teeth in the back of your mouth, you should contact us. If your teeth are involved, you can get the necessary treatment to get back on the road to easy breathing and a pain free smile.