We see a lot of patients that come in to our dentist office in Fairfax, Virginia with pain that is due to sinus problems and not dental issues.  This is a year round problem due to allergies, colds, and sinus infections, but seems more prevalent in the spring and fall months. We have cherry blossoms here in Northern Virginia and they have amazingly potent pollen.  Most of this type pain and discomfort is associated with the upper premolars and molars (back teeth) due to there location near the large maxillary sinuses and the pressure associated with sinus problems.   There are other smaller sinuses that can cause dental pain in the front teeth when these sinuses become inflamed.

Most of the time the pain is localized to one side of the mouth on the upper jaw (maxilla).  It usually causes pain when eating or biting down.  In most cases, most of the posterior (back) teeth have some degree of discomfort, or pain.  Our experience has been that if there is any hot/cold sensitivity, it is on the lingual (back) side of the tooth in the tissue covering the roof of the mouth.  Another symptom is pain when  you press on the side of the gum tissue above the back teeth it can be slightly painful.  Yet another symptom is sensitivity, or discomfort when you tap on the posterior teeth and this is usually involves more that one tooth.

If these symptoms are present, there are a few things that you can do to help define and resolve these problems:

  1. See your dentist to confirm that there are no dental problems contributing to the pain you are having.
  2.  See you physician, or ear/nose/ and throat specialist to determine if you have a sinus infection, or other sinus problem that needs antibiotic therapy, or other medication to treat the symptoms you are experiencing.

If you have allergy problems, you may try an over the counter allergy medication from your local pharmacy to see if it will relieve the pressure in the sinuses and symptoms you are having.

Many times when we have dental pain, it is not due to actually due to dental problems.  An example of this is in the case of sinus problems!