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Is it a Toothache or is it a Sinus Infection?

SinusitisToothaches can result from a number of causes. Periodontal disease is a bacterial infection which afflicts approximately 80% of adults in America. Cavities, another of the most common dental issues, also cause tooth pain when the decay spreads far enough. Dental injuries are a clear cause of toothaches, but what if your discomfort has a completely surprising cause? Many people don’t realize that sinus infections are well known to cause a toothache type pain which is often confusing. West Des Moines dentist, Dr. Jessica Johnson occasionally uncovers sinus infection related toothaches.

What is a Sinus Infection?

When the sinuses fill with fluid, the bacteria within the fluid cause an infection. Swelling results from the infection and can cause pain in the upper teeth. As discussed, above bacterial infections occur in the sinuses, causing toothaches. These sinus infections usually occur following a bout with a cold or the flu. Once the sinus cavity fills with fluid, it results in pressure around the entire face area. Primarily, back upper teeth are affected and can throb in pain. Antibiotics will usually be prescribed to deal with the infection.

Confusion Caused by Pain

We mentioned some of the most common toothache reasons. If your toothache is describable as a painful pressure, you could have the start of an abscess. Abscesses will quickly graduate to pervasive, sharp, throbbing pain however, as a result of germs entering the roots of a tooth. A less obvious but also throbbing pressure is reported with sinus infection toothaches. If you are good about brushing twice daily, flossing every day, and visiting Dr. Johnson every six months, an abscess is less likely than a sinus infection. In any event, when you have a toothache, don’t hesitate to call our Valley Ridge Family Dental team.

Schedule Your Visit

Concerned about sinus infections and toothaches, and still unsure about the differences? At Valley Ridge Family Dental, we provide comprehensive dental care for the whole family. Contact our 50266 family dental office by calling (515) 223-9764 to schedule an appointment today. We welcome patients from West Des Moines, Waukee, Clive, Urbandale, and the surrounding Des Moines metro communities.


MapValley Ridge Family Dental
6150 Village View Drive, #109,
West Des Moines, IA, 50266
Phone: 515.223.9764
After-hours emergency: 515.423.0445
Fax: 515.327.6230

Office Hours

Monday: 8 am-5 pm
Tuesday: closed
Wednesday: 8 am-5 pm
Thursday: 7:30 am- 1:30 pm
Friday: 7:30 am-4:30 pm