Sinusitis

The maxillary sinus lies to the side of the nose, below the eye and just above the roots of the upper back teeth.  In fact, the nerves which supply the upper back teeth run in the floor of the sinus and herein lies the problem.

If the lining of the sinus is infected or inflamed by bacterial or viral  infection, the pain symptoms can mimic a toothache of the upper back teeth.  The teeth will sometimes be sensitive to cold drinks as well.

There can be redness and tenderness of the middle face just below the eyes and a frontal headache.

Another defining feature of sinusitis can be pain on tilting the head backwards and forwards. This is caused by fluid or mucus moving up and down the sinus walls as movement occurs.

Because the sinus can be partly filled with mucus or pus, head movement forwards and backwards can create a rush of pain to the front of the face.  This is the most common way to recognise a sinus infection.

Sinus will often follow a cold or flu and typically last for 12 days.  Sometimes there is a discharge of mucus or pus which can drain down the back of the throat.  The sinus on x-ray will have a whiter, duller look.

Your dentist or doctor will prescribe antibiotics for this.  Failure of it to resolve may mean that there is chronic sinusitis, which is best managed by an ear, nose and throat specialist.We refer to Dr Greg Lvoff.

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