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Sinusitis or Toothache; Doctor or Dentist; How To Tell the Difference

man in white is sneezing. Runny nose.

(Clearwater, FL) April 04, 2023 — A sinus infection, clinically referred to as sinusitis, is a condition that affects more than 35 million people in the U.S. and is essentially an inflammation of the maxillary sinuses.1  Symptoms can be painful and accompanied by tenderness and pressure around the eyes, cheeks, nose, and forehead that can be exacerbated when bending over and may also manifest as tooth pain.2 Viruses, bacteria, and fungi are the usual suspects when diagnosing sinusitis, but narrowing down the root cause, such as a cold, allergies, or nasal polyps, to name a few, can be complex.3 Sinus infections, though common, are prone to misdiagnosis. Odontogenic sinusitis, resulting from a dentoalveolar pathology (oral conditions originating from the gums, teeth, or jaw), was once considered 10% of maxillary sinusitis cases. More recent studies conclude that 40% of maxillary sinusitis have a dental origin, most often due to periodontal disease or a dental abscess.4 Adrian LaTrace, CEO of Boyd Industries, notes, “Odontogenic sinusitis, by definition, represents the intrinsic connection between ENT (ear, nose, and throat) and dental specialties. The upper teeth are closely linked to the maxillary sinus, which fosters a cause and effect relationship that cannot be overlooked.”

It is a causality loop. Infected sinuses can produce the symptoms of a toothache. At the same time, a tooth infection close to the base of the upper teeth may cause sinus pain or actually lead to sinusitis if the bacteria spread into the sinus cavity.5 The tricky part for the patient is making the connection between the two. Fortunately, the symptoms unlock the mystery. For sinus infections, tooth pain is typically experienced in the top molars or spreads to several teeth and worsens when leaning forward. Toothaches are generally isolated to individual teeth and are accompanied by sensitivity to hot and cold, painful or swollen gums, and discomfort when chewing.6 The onset of tooth pain will ordinarily prompt a visit to the dentist. If the pain is a result of sinusitis, a patient may make repeated visits to the dentist only to be told that there is nothing observably wrong with their teeth.

A person suffering from allergies may automatically attribute any associated tooth pain to their sinusitis but may actually have an infected tooth that could go unresolved. And the bad news for those suffering from seasonal allergies is that the pollen season is getting longer. A recent study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) reports the pollen season is 20 days longer due to a 21% increase in pollen concentrations between 1990 and 2018.7 Worst-case scenario, an untreated sinus infection can spread into the bones, brain, or spine8 while poor oral hygiene can affect the entire body and could lead to more health problems, such as cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and even Alzheimer’s disease.9

LaTrace explains, “Dentistry is part and parcel of the overall scope of the medical industry, and its reach across medical specialties is increasing. Boyd Industries is expanding its role as the market leader in the state-of-the-art design and manufacture of highly-reliable dental and medical operatory equipment for a growing range of specialties, including ENT, orthodontics, endodontics, oral surgery, pediatric dentistry, dermatology, and hair transplantation.” Boyd Industries’ products are made in the U.S.A. and feature the highest-quality craftsmanship. Their award-winning line of products comprises dental exam, treatment, and surgery chairs, delivery systems, exam lighting, custom clinical cabinetry, operator seating, and other office accessories.

LaTrace attests, “Boyd is best known for its design and customizable features and has become the industry standard, having been time-tested by thousands of medical professionals worldwide. Our company exists to serve medical and dental professionals by creating highly reliable, aesthetically-pleasing products that allow them to focus on providing the highest quality patient care.”

Built to last. Built for you. Built by Boyd.


About Boyd Industries

For 65 years, Boyd Industries has been the innovative market leader in the design and manufacture of dental and medical operatory equipment. Their high-quality and reliable equipment has been the choice of dental specialty practices and dental surgery offices. The rapidly expanding Ear, Nose, and Throat market now seeks its reputation for quality and innovation. Boyd equipment is specifically designed to provide maximum practice productivity while incorporating ergonomic characteristics for the doctor, staff, and patient. As an original equipment manufacturer, they use a vertically integrated approach to ensure their process meets high-quality standards. This approach allows Boyd to control each step of component fabrication and product assembly. Boyd’s products include a full line of dental exam, treatment, and surgical chairs, dental delivery systems, LED exam and surgical lighting, custom sterilization and storage cabinetry, and doctor or assistant seating. Boyd was named the Senate Small Business of the Week in November 2020 and is a ten-time winner of the Townie Choice Award for excellence in orthodontic operatory equipment. Boyd Industries is an FDA-registered manufacturer. Built to last. Built for you. Built by Boyd. http://www.boydindustries.com/.

References:
  1. Taxin, C. (2023, January 29). Can a sinus infection cause a toothache? Dental Medical Billing. Retrieved March 9, 2023, from dentalmedicalbilling.com/billing/can-a-sinus-infection-cause-a-toothache/
  2. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2021, August 27). Acute sinusitis. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved March 9, 2023, from mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/acute-sinusitis/symptoms-causes/syc-20351671
  3. WebMD. (n.d.). Sinus infection (sinusitis): Symptoms, causes, duration, & treatment. WebMD. Retrieved March 9, 2023, from webmd.com/allergies/sinusitis-and-sinus-infection
  4. Did you know? sinusitis is of Dental Origin. Oral Health Group. (2019, August 13). Retrieved March 9, 2023, from oralhealthgroup.com/blogs/know-sinusitis-dental-origin/
  5. Your sinuses are linked to your teeth – here’s the relationship. Buckwalter Dental Care. (n.d.). Retrieved March 9, 2023, from buckwalterdentalcare.com/post/your-sinuses-are-linked-to-your-teeth-heres-the-relationship
  6. iSmile Dental Care. (2022, November 14). Do I have a sinus infection or a toothache? - oral health – gainesville dentist – ismile dental care – taimour raja. iSmile Dental Care. Retrieved March 9, 2023, from ismileva.com/do-i-have-a-sinus-infection-or-a-toothache/
  7. Katella, K. (2021, May 18). Seasonal allergies are worse this year-why and what you can do about it. Yale Medicine. Retrieved March 9, 2023, from yalemedicine.org/news/seasonal-allergies#:~:text=A%20study%20published%20in%20February,concentrations%20between%201990%20and%202018
  8. Chronic sinusitis: Symptoms, causes, treatments. Cleveland Clinic. (n.d.). Retrieved March 9, 2023, from my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/17700-chronic-sinusitis
  9. Wilda. (2021, August 24). The mouth-body connection: Unlocking excellent health. Rejuvenation Dentistry. Retrieved March 9, 2023, from rejuvdentist.com/biological-dentistry/mouth-body-connection/#:~:text=Your%20mouth%20is%20the%20gateway,including%20many%20chronic%20health%20issues

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