When Sinusitis Looks Like a Toothache
Sinusitis – chronic swelling and inflammation in the sinuses – can lead to a host of collateral symptoms. One of the most common is severe pain in the jaw or upper teeth, typically as a result of pressure building up from sinus cavities that cannot drain.
One doctor recently shared the story of a patient who showed up with precisely this compliant:
She said she hated seeing dentists so much that she tried everything to make the pain in her teeth go away on her own. . . Then she said that her teeth were causing the entire right side of her face to feel “tight.”
A closer look revealed that her teeth were not to blame.
She was a walking textbook case of acute sinusitis.
One of the telltale signs, in retrospect, was that the patient mentioned her tooth pain was preceded by a lingering cold. The author points out that not all sinusitis cases are as easily recognized, or as easily resolved. There are some rare circumstances where a more serious issue may flow from the symptoms of sinusitis:
There are times to manage suspected sinus inflammation with nasal washes and over-the-counter decongestants. And there are times to seek professional care immediately.
High fevers, facial swelling, severe headaches and confusion should be cause for alarm.