Do I have sinusitis or a problem with my tooth?

By Dr. Brett Silverman | Apr 17, 2020 | General Oral Care
Do I have sinusitis or a problem with my tooth?

Sinus pressure. Jaw pain. Facial tenderness. All common symptoms that you may experience at some point.

But how do you know if you have sinusitis (sinus infection) or a problem with your tooth? Sinus pain and tooth pain can present similar issues, which is why it’s tough to pinpoint the exact cause of your pain.

But we’re going to explore this question a bit more…

How to determine the difference between sinus pain and tooth pain

To know whether you have sinus pain (or sinusitis) or tooth pain, you should evaluate two things — the type of pain you’re having and the location of the pain.

  • Type of pain: Is the pain dull and achy? Are you experiencing intense, sharp-shooting pain?

  • Location of the pain: Do you feel the pain near the jaw regions? Is the pain always centralized in one specific area of the mouth?

Answering these questions will help you determine if it’s more likely you have a sinus problem or tooth pain.

Also, the answers to your questions can help your doctor or dentist get to the root of the problem and provide proper treatment.

So, over the next few days you should take notes of the type and location of your pain. Be as specific as possible.

  • Make a note of the time of day you’re experiencing pain.

  • What are you doing when the pain starts?

  • Is there anything you do that makes the pain better?

  • Is there anything that makes the pain worse?

  • Does the pain start or get worse after you’ve spent time outdoors?

  • Does the pain start after consuming hot beverages or hard foods?

Take detailed notes. You may end up seeing patterns in your pain, something which you can definitely speak with your doctor or dentist about.

NOTE: read our other blog about sinus pain and tooth pain!

Sinusitis symptoms that differ from tooth pain symptoms

If you have a sinus infection, you might experience symptoms that aren’t indicative of tooth pain issues. Some popular sinusitis symptoms include:

  • Fever

  • Discolored postnasal drainage or discharge

  • Nasal stuffiness

  • Sore throat

  • Cough

  • Facial swelling

  • Pressure or pain in the sinuses, in the ears and teeth

  • Facial tenderness

  • Sinus headache

Why do people confuse sinusitis (sinus problems) with tooth pain?

Well mainly because the maxillary sinuses are located above the mouth area. So that’s why some people think sinus pain is due to a toothache or vice versa (tooth pain is due to sinus pain).

Also, when a person has a sinus infection, a lot of pressure gets built up because of the inflammation. This pressure and inflammation sometimes causes tooth pain.

In order to know for sure if it’s sinusitis or tooth pain, schedule an appointment with a dentist, doctor, or an ENT doctor (ear, nose, throat).

In the meantime, here are a few important ways to take care of your teeth: 

  1. Brush your teeth 2-3 times per day.

  2. Floss 1-2 times per day.

  3. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.

  4. Schedule a checkup appointment with your dentist. A dental cleaning once every six months is recommended for healthy teeth and gums.

Visit our blog post for more details on taking care of your teeth at home.

What should you do now? 

If you’d like to be evaluated by a dentist for your tooth pain or sinus pain, and you live in/near Alpharetta, GA, call Dr. Brett Silverman today for an appointment.

Don’t live another day in pain. Call us today.


Posted by Advanced Cosmetic and Family Dentistry
4205 North Point Parkway, Building D, Alpharetta, GA 30022
Phone: 678.389.9000