Can Tooth infection cause Sinus infection ??

Tooth pain is a common symptom of Maxillary Sinus infection because of the close proximity of the Palatal root of Maxillary first molar to the floor of Maxillary Sinus. The close proximity is the reason why dentists are very careful before going for extraction or doing Root canal treatment in Maxillary first molars.

Most of us who have suffered from sinusitis or seen a family member suffering from Sinusitis know that during sinus infection Tooth pain is a symptom but we might never have thought that a Tooth infection can be the cause of a Sinus infection.

Sinus Infection is nothing but Bacteria growing in the Sinus Spaces which are empty spaces in the Face lined by Epithelium to circulate warm and cold air through their chambers to regulate temperature.Sinusitis caused by tooth infection

Which Sinus infection can be affected by an Infected tooth:

The Maxillary sinus is the one which is in close proximity to the Maxillary 2st molar on either side of the face. Because of the close proximity of the roots of the Maxillary 1st molar the chance of transferring the infection are greater. It is said that in most cases only 2 mm of bone is present between the Maxillary Sinus and Root tip.

“Approximately 20% of the Maxillary Sinus infections are caused due to maxillary posterior teeth infections such as Periapical or Periodontal infections” – Textbook of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

tooth infection leading to maxillary sinusitis

Red Lines – Floor of the Maxillary Sinus

Maxillary Sinusitis caused by Tooth infection

Red – Floor of Sinus, Blue – Root tips outline

In the above given OPG you can see on the right side that the Floor of the maxillary Sinus is very low in relation the the Maxillary 1st and 2nd molar teeth roots which clearly gives an idea of hoe an infected tooth can lead to Maxillary Sinus infection.

This is true in some cases because the periapical or periodontal infections of posterior maxillary teeth erode the bone separating the maxillary sinus from the root tip of Maxillary molar and the infection can go through and lead to Sinusitis.

As we can see in the Xray below that the Roots of Maxillary 2nd Pre molar, 1st Molar and 2nd molar are in very close proximity to the Maxillary Sinus and these are the teeth which when infected can lead to maxillary sinusitis infection. This is the reason why many dentists are very careful in placing implants in posterior region and also suggest you to perform Sinus lift Surgery.

Conclusion:  “Teeth infection can be a cause for Sinus Infection”

Many people are confused with Sinus infection and Teeth pain as we know that Tooth pain is a symptom of Chronic Sinusitis but here we can see that Tooth infection can also cause Sinusitis infection.

The treatment of this type of relative infection is determined by using Antibiotics and controlling the Sinus and tooth infection and later meticulous Root Canal Treatment done for the infected tooth. Later if required Sinus Lift Surgery is performed in case Implants are to be placed where the floor of the sinus is lifted away from the root tips.

So make sure you keep your teeth healthy and have regular Dental visits to keep your Dental health in check.

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