Toothaches and sinus pain share many of the same symptoms, making it difficult to differentiate between the two. These two conditions are also linked: sinus pressure can sometimes cause toothaches, for example. But how do you know whether you have a toothache or sinus pressure? Read on to find out.
Symptoms of a Toothache
The pain from a toothache can range in severity, from mild discomfort to extreme anguish. Many people describe the pain associated with a toothache as "sharp" or "throbbing," and it can interfere with their day-to-day tasks. For other people, tooth pain only occurs when they apply pressure to their teeth.
There are other symptoms related to a toothache, too. These include:
- Painful, swollen gums (which might bleed when you brush your teeth)
- Bad breath (caused by a tooth infection)
In severe cases, a toothache can make it difficult for someone to eat or talk.
If you suffer from a toothache, it's important you visit your dentist straight away. Your dentist will inspect your teeth and gums and provide you with specialized treatment based on the severity of your condition.
Symptoms of Sinus Pressure
The symptoms associated with sinus pressure can also range in severity. For most people, they feel pressure or pain behind their eyes and cheeks. Their face might feel puffy, too.
Here are some of the other symptoms related to sinus pressure:
- Bad breath
- A runny nose
Some people might experience mucus draining from their nose.
How to Differentiate Between a Toothache and Sinus Pressure
As you can see, many of the symptoms linked to a toothache and sinus pressure are the same. This is why it's important to visit a dentist who can differentiate between the two.
Your dentist will inspect your mouth and gums. If there are no visible signs of cavities or tooth decay, it's likely you have sinus-related problems.
"To treat your toothache, your dentist will first obtain your medical history and conduct a physical exam," says WebMD. "He or she will ask you questions about the pain, such as when the pain started, how severe it is, where the pain is located, what makes the pain worse, and what makes it better."
[RELATED: Get the ins and outs of dental pain.]
Don't try and diagnose yourself. You could mistake a toothache for sinus pressure and, without the right treatment, make your pain or discomfort worse.
Actions to Take If You Have a Toothache
If you have a toothache, your dentist might recommend that you take an over-the-counter medication until the symptoms and pain subside. Other dental procedures may be necessary to treat a toothache. Your dentist will help diagnose the issue and put you on the best treatment plan possible.
If the pain is absolutely too much to bear, request an emergency dental visit at any of our five convenient locations.
Other treatments for a toothache include saltwater rinses. Add a small amount of table salt to half a cup of warm water and swish it around your mouth for 30 seconds. This simple home remedy can improve your oral health over time.
Actions to Take if You Have Sinus Pressure
If you have sinus pressure, your dentist might recommend that you take an over-the-counter medication to treat the problem. This will alleviate your symptoms and provide you with some much-needed relief.
You might also want to use steam to combat sinus pressure. Take a warm shower or bath and breathe in the steam to clear out your sinus passages.
"For an extra boost, add eucalyptus oil to your bath to speed your recovery. Eucalyptus contains cineole, an ingredient known to speed healing of acute sinusitis," says Healthline. "The oil also may help to reduce nasal stuffiness and clear your pathways."
Toothache and sinus pressure symptoms are similar, which makes it difficult to diagnose your condition. Visit a dentist and have the problem looked at by a professional. This way, you can identify the issue and treat it in the quickest possible time with the least amount of discomfort.