There are times when a toothache may not be caused by a dental condition, such as a cavity or gum disease. Because of the location of the maxillary sinuses, which are in your cheekbones and above your upper jaw, when the cavities swell from an infection, they can place pressure near the roots of your upper back teeth, resulting in the throbbing pain of a toothache. Without treatment, the sinus infection and the resulting pain can last for months.
If you have a toothache that is caused by a sinus infection, the key to relief is to treat the sinus infection so that you can have unrestricted air flow in your sinus cavities and the mucus can drain as it should. This can be accomplished in a variety of ways:
Eat Spicy Foods
To open up your sinuses, consider adding spicy food to your diet. This can include foods such as hot red peppers, jalapenos or horseradish that have mucus-thinning characteristics. Eating these foods can provide you with almost instant nasal and toothache relief. Also, foods that contain the right amounts garlic, turmeric or ginger root can be used to fight the bacteria that are the cause of the sinus infection.
Over-the-counter decongestants work by restricting the blood flow to your sinus cavities to shrink your mucus membranes. In response, your swollen and inflamed sinuses will shrink down to their regular size. Decongestants can be administered orally or nasally and are sold as liquids, pills, nasal sprays and nasal drops. Keep in mind that decongestants should only be used as a short-term remedy as the overuse of the medicine can result in your nasal congestion getting worse.
Drinking plenty of fluids can aid in hydrating the mucus membranes in your sinus cavities and encourage drainage. In addition to drinking water, you may want to consider stocking up on liquids, such as coconut water, that contain the electrolytes needed to keep you from becoming dehydrated.
You can also aid in the drainage of mucus from your nasal cavities by taking an expectorant. While a decongestant will relieve sinus pressure by basically drying out the cavity, an expectorant encourages the expulsion of the mucus. Expectorants are available in liquid, capsule or tablet form and should be used as a short-term treatment.
If you are suffering from a sinus toothache because your sinus infection is caused by an allergy, taking medication that contains antihistamine can help. You should also be mindful to avoid any triggers to your allergy to limit nasal reactions.
The proper application of steam can open your sinus cavities and reduce the pain of a sinus toothache. You can place a very warm washcloth directly over your nose and eye areas a few times a day. You may also place your head over a bowl of steaming water or take a hot shower to help lubricate your sinuses to reduce swelling. The key to using steam as an effective sinus toothache treatment is to apply it repeatedly throughout the day.