When you are sick with the cold or the flu, your entire body may feel sore, including your teeth. Sinus inflammation is the primary cause of most illness related tooth pain. The upper molars on both sides of the mouth are positioned directly underneath the maxillary sinuses. The nerves of the teeth are extremely sensitive to any type of pain or pressure. When the sinuses are full and causing pressure, or when there is inflammation of the lining of the sinuses, this will often cause the upper molars on one or both sides of the mouth to be painful. This pain may become more pronounced when you sneeze or cough.
Some who are affected by tooth pain when they are ill with a cold, flu or sinus infection may think that they are developing a tooth abscess or that a cavity is causing the pain. The pain from sinus pressure and inflammation on the teeth and the pain from an infected tooth root are quite distinct.
Pain that comes from an infected tooth is a throbbing and pulsating type of pain. It usually does not lessen in severity. This type of pain is easy to pinpoint within the mouth. Usually only one tooth will be affected, and there will be redness and swelling around the tooth.
The pain in teeth associated with sinus pressure and inflammation often involves all of the molars beneath the affected sinus. It is a dull pain that does not throb and pulsate. In most cases, a person with this type of pain can eat and drink without additional pain. Also, this type of tooth pain is variable. As the sinus congestion lessens, so does the tooth pain.
There is no real way to prevent pain in the teeth when sinuses are infected. The best course of action is to drink plenty of fluids to help clear congestion. Taking acetaminophen or ibuprofen will help with sinus pain and the tooth pain caused by it.
If the sinuses are infected, your doctor will prescribe an antibiotic that will clear the infection, and this can help end associated teeth pain.
If pain persists, consult your dentist to check if you have a cavity.
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