Finding The Real Culprit

By Catherine M. Fascilla, D.D.S.

It’s that time of year when the cold and flu season are upon us.  Sometimes you may find yourself confused about whether you need to see your physician or your dentist.

Symptoms such as nasal congestion, greenish mucous discharge and pain in the face may indicate a sinus condition; however, you may also feel pain or pressure in your back teeth.  Because your maxillary (upper) sinuses are located just above the roots of you molars and premolars, a sinus infection can cause pressure on the nerve endings of these teeth.  This may make you believe that you are experiencing a toothache when the condition is not directly tooth related. The pain experienced can be so severe that you may think you need root canal therapy.

Conversely, you can experience a toothache or a gum infection which can spread into the sinuses, causing pain and pressure. Clenching or grinding your teeth can also have an effect on your sinuses.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, don’t try to diagnose yourself. Your dentist and physician can determine the source of your problem, and by treating either a sinus or tooth infection accordingly you can “nab the real culprit”!


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