Dental Tips Blog


Is it Really a Toothache?

This time of the year it isn’t uncommon for someone to come into the dental office with a toothache. Someone who has never, ever had a toothache before. Suddenly, they find themselves experiencing severe discomfort, pain, or pressure that throbs or sends shooting pains into the rest of their face.

You might not know it, but when this happens there is a very good chance that it isn’t even tooth related. When it’s allergy season (or even cold and flu season), a lot of people develop moderate to severe sinus pressure and congestion. When you think about it, it’s normal that some of this pressure is perceived as a toothache. Why? Because the lining of your nasal sinus cavity often lays directly across the tips of the roots of certain maxillary (upper) teeth. When congestion worsens, the area swells and begins pushing onto your tooth. Your body interprets this as a toothache due to the localized pain.

Thankfully all that is usually needed is a small X-ray taken by your dentist to see what is going on around the root of your tooth. If there is no tooth decay or abscess, but the lining of your sinus seems to be draped across the root along with an enlarged sinus – then it’s likely that your pain is simply caused by nasal congestion. Some people notice more significant pain when they move their head up and down or side to side. If infections are severe, it might be necessary to take a prescription antibiotic along with a strong decongestant.

If tooth pain persists or does not improve, see your dentist right away.

Posted on behalf of:
Green Dental of Alexandria
1725 Duke St
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 549-1725

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