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Old 05-20-2005, 05:49 PM   #1
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Pain in the face and teeth: sinus infection or dental problem?

About two days ago I started to experience a bad pain in the entire left side of my face. My cheekbone hurt, my upper jaw and my lower jaw hurt, my temple hurt, and the pain would come and go and even move around to different parts of my face. I called my doctor who started me on an antibiotic and will see me next week. She suspects a sinus infection.

This morning I woke up with a lot less of the facial pain, but with a new symptom -- my two upper left teeth are feeling very sensitive, and my bite doesn't feel right. It feels like the upper teeth are clashing against the lower teeth when I clench my teeth. I can't chew on that side because the upper teeth hurt when they touch the lower teeth.

I went to my dental hygienist, who said everything *looked* okay, that it *is* possible to have these symptoms with a sinus infection, and took x-rays. The dentist was away, so he won't be able to review the x-rays till next week. What worries me is that these two teeth seem to have altered their bite overnight, and that doesn't seem normal. Has anyone had a similar experience, or does anyone have any ideas as to what's going on? Thanks in advance!

(edited for spelling)

Last edited by Joanne_C; 05-20-2005 at 05:50 PM.

 
Old 05-21-2005, 03:05 PM   #2
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Re: Pain in the face and teeth: sinus infection or dental problem?

This sounds like it could very well be a sinus problem. In many people, the sinus membrane actually touches the root tip of the upper teeth and the root tips support the sinus membrane. Although you only saw the hygenist, she would be able to see anything on an x-ray that would be a serious problem, such as decay that has reached the pulp chamber or an apical abcess. The hygenist cannot diagnose you, but she probably would have reffered you to another dentist if she saw anything suspicous.

 
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Old 05-26-2005, 03:48 PM   #3
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Re: Pain in the face and teeth: sinus infection or dental problem?

Joanne_C: I just wanted to see how you are doing and if indeed your tooth problem was a sinus infection?

I'm going through the same thing right now and am curious as to what your outcome is/was.

Thanks!

 
Old 05-28-2005, 02:37 PM   #4
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Re: Pain in the face and teeth: sinus infection or dental problem?

I had the same problem, turned out to be an ear infection, the antibiotics took care of it, in one day i was fine, the pain was gone.

also ...i heard, you can pinch a nerve in a jaw to have the simular simptoms...so dont yawn too wide

 
Old 05-28-2005, 07:18 PM   #5
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Re: Pain in the face and teeth: sinus infection or dental problem?

I have had many sinus infections that produced very similar symptoms. Some antibiotics will probably do the trick.

Nancy

 
Old 05-29-2005, 07:55 AM   #6
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Re: Pain in the face and teeth: sinus infection or dental problem?

I had the exact thing one time. They called it facial migraines and gave me Tylox. Turns out it was an absessed tooth hitting a nerve. The antibiotics will work in either case but if it is dental you need to tooth out.

 
Old 05-29-2005, 08:37 AM   #7
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Re: Pain in the face and teeth: sinus infection or dental problem?

The teeth are held in by thousands of periodontal ligaments. When there is inflammation present around the teeth, the tooth does actually extrude a small amount. Even a change or 1/10th of a millimeter can feel like a lot. Usually sinus infections can cause teeth to hurt and become sensitive, but do not cause the inflammation of the periodontal ligament causing the extrusion of the tooth. Also, because the roots of the upper molars are often imbedded into the sinus, an abscess can not be seen on the x-ray. Other tests are necessary to determine if the tooth is abscessed. Antibiotics will make both a sinus infection and an abscessed tooth feel better. You do need to head to the dentist and have him do an evaluation.

 
Old 05-31-2005, 12:19 PM   #8
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Re: Pain in the face and teeth: sinus infection or dental problem?

The antibiotics haven't helped me much. My dentist put in a sedative filling today and told me not to baby the tooth. Impossible when it's killing you. It does feel better after he put in the sedative filling. He wants to wait a couple of days and see if I'm better. He would rather take a conservative approach rather than jumping into a root canal. I guess that's better than being aggressive with the tooth.

I'm still on the antibiotics too.

 
Old 06-01-2005, 07:24 PM   #9
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Re: Pain in the face and teeth: sinus infection or dental problem?

Thank you to all who responded. Visits to both the doctor and dentist have confirmed that I did indeed have a sinus infection. The dentist took x-rays and did that test where he taps on the suspect teeth, and there's no abscess. After 10 days of antibiotics my symptoms are almost completely gone. I still have minor sensitivity in those two upper teeth, but I have had some sensitivity there in the past (due to fillings in the teeth and minor receding gums), and at this point I'd say I'm back to normal.

The dentist said that because the roots of the teeth are adjacent to the sinus, when the sinus was inflamed with the infection it pressed down on the teeth and created that painful sensation that my teeth were too big for my mouth. So, my subjective impression that my bite was off was accurate, but fortunately temporary. I learned quite a bit about dental anatomy because of this experience. I also never knew before that some sinus infections come without the nasal dripping and congestion.

Flexy633, I am glad your dentist is taking a conservative approach -- I think that is the best. Good luck to you in getting your pain to end.

 
Old 06-08-2005, 12:17 PM   #10
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Re: Pain in the face and teeth: sinus infection or dental problem?

The same thing happened to me, though it was my infected wisdom tooth. They thought it was a sinus infection so they put me on antibiotics, but when I came back about a month later with worse pain they said it was my wisdom tooth. I'm glad to hear yours was just a sinus infection.

 
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