After the hectic pre-Christmas rush, the wild social events including New Years Eve, many people are left feeling run down in January. It is quite common then, for opportunistic bugs to be passed around and the end result is lots of coughs, colds and flu like symptoms – but also toothache!
Now you may have eaten a few too many chocolates or even lost a filling in a toffee penny but toothache in the upper back teeth can actually be due to inflammation in the sinus.
Now the science bit…..
Your sinuses are located inside each cheekbone above the upper jaws. Drainage of any fluids accumulated inside them can be difficult as their lower part is below the nasal passage to the nostrils.
When an infection or inflammation is present the sinus gets clogged with mucus, trapping bacteria that continue to multiply inside the blocked sinus. Further swelling and the concentration of mucus fluids results in the build-up of pressure inside the sinus cavity and over the upper jaw bones.
The roots of the upper molar teeth in the back of the jaw may be too close to the floor of the maxillary sinus cavity. In some cases they may even extend into the sinus cavity. When the roots of the upper molar teeth are in close proximity with the sinus area, the teeth nerves are affected by this pressure and you can experience a pain much similar to toothache pain.
You can help relieve your symptoms by:
• taking over-the-counter painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen
• using nasal decongestants – these shouldn’t be used for more than a week
• holding warm packs to your face
• facial steaming/inhalation – use a bowl hot water with a drop of eucalyptus oil or vapour rub.
• regularly cleaning the inside of your nose with a saline solution – you can make this at home yourself or use sachets of ingredients bought from a pharmacy
If all of the above fail and you still have toothache, you had better call the dentist!