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Sinus Toothache?

Monday, February 27, 2017

Sinus headache?  Yeah sure, I've heard of that.  I'm sure I've even experienced that a time or two before.  Sinus pressure, pain, issues in general...  Check, check, and check.  When you are a seasonal allergy sufferer and everything is already starting to bloom, then sure, you know you are in for some (or all) of that too.   But a sinus toothache?  Well, I never.  That is, until now.  

So let me start at the beginning.  It actually started several weeks ago.  I noticed a sudden onset of sensitivity in my teeth.  I have never had sensitive teeth before, but suddenly they were extremely and inexplicably sensitive to cold.   And not just one tooth- all of them on my right side- top and bottom alike.  What in the world?  So I switched from my normal tooth whitening toothpaste to a sensitive toothpaste, thinking that perhaps that would help.  It didn't- not really- not even after a few weeks. How odd. 

Then one day I started having pain in my gums (again only on my right side) but on both the top and the bottom gums.  I couldn't isolate the pain to any one area.  It just radiated up and down my gum lines, pulsing and throbbing with incredible pain- the worst ever. One night, it was so bad I couldn't sleep at all.  I called my dentist for an emergency appointment the next day, thinking something was terribly wrong.  Could a cavity be causing all this pain?  An abscess?  Did I need a root canal?  A whole new set of teeth?  I would take anything at this point to help minimize the pain.

But when I got the dentist, they couldn't really find anything wrong.  They took x-rays, examined my mouth, teeth, and gums, poked and prodded, applied ice to individual teeth and areas of my mouth to try to replicate the awful pain and thus pinpoint the source of it.  After about an hour of searching, they eventually sent me on my way.  Apparently, my mouth was just fine.  Only it wasn't.  It definitely wasn't. 

The next several days brought some relief in bits and spurts.  Some days the pain was bearable, some days nonexistent, and then others it was back with full force.  And when it was hurting, it felt like the worst toothache known to man.  Every nerve ending in my face was all lit up all at once.  From my eye, down to my cheek, along my gum line, toward my ear, along my jaw, and even down into my neck.  But only on my right side.  It was so bad it brought me to tears.  I wasn't imagining this.  What was I going to do?  

I finally threw in the towel and went to see my regular doctor.  I didn't have a fever or any other sinus symptoms.  No drainage, no weird mucus, no congestion, nada.  But it turns out that the pain I was experiencing was a sinus infection that had settled into my right sinus cavity, which incidentally- when swollen with an infection impinges on the nerves in your teeth and gums, and causes the radiating and nauseating pain that I had been feeling. The solution?  An antibiotic, of course.  It has now been almost 4 days of antibiotics for me, and the pain is more manageable, but definitely not gone (yet).  It feels like things are moving now- draining perhaps.  But when I get congested, the pressure builds up and works on all those same old worn out nerves again.  I would not wish this discomfort pain on my worst enemy. 

Oh, and since I've never had experience with this before, it has taken me forever to figure out what seems to trigger the pain.  For me, it has been any time I try to lay back or lay down or recline my head even to the slightest degree.  Those movements seem to send me right back into a whirlwind of pain.  So as long as I don't try to do anything senseless like rest or sleep or recline my zombie-like head, then I ought to be ok for the foreseeable future- at least until those antibiotics finish working their magic.  

And no, pain relievers don't touch it.  I've tried them all, and I don't care what anyone says, OTC pain meds don't alleviate tooth pain. In any case, I am on the road to recovery.  I think.  I hope.  I just thought I would share in case you ever encounter a toothache that you cannot trace to a dental issue. Yes, Virginia, there is such a thing as a sinus toothache.  And it's no fun, dearhearts.  But it is very much a real thing. 
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Marco said...

Since you have developed this type of sinus infection, is the only indicator teeth sensitivity? Do you have headaches with this type of infection? Now that you are on medication, is there any other measures you can do to prevent this in the future? Wish you the best in the future.

Anitra Lovell said...

Thanks for posting this. It’s amazing how different areas of the body can be affected by one thing. I’m sorry that you had to go through all this trouble to find a solution, but posting your experiences where others can learn from them may save other unfortunate souls from their own lengthy diagnosis. I’m glad that you found a solution.

Anitra Lovell @ Western Dental Fresno

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