Sinus problems or toothache? It's driving me crazy!

(9 Posts)
bobbythejobby Fri 22-May-20 09:43:32

Just looking for some opinions/reassurance I guess.

For the past seven weeks on and off I have had mild toothache-like pain on the upper left side, earache and fullness in my ears, mild headaches, feeling sick as hell in the mornings, pain in my neck near my glands mostly on left side, post-nasal drip. I've had a telephone appointment with a nurse at my GP practice who prescribed beconase nasal spray which I've been taking for just two days so no difference yet.

For those that have had sinus problems in the past does this sound like a sinus problem? I continuously swing between thinking it's a sinus problem and then the next minute convinced it's toothache. Last night it felt like all my teeth on the left side (upper and bottom) were really sensitive especially to cold water and aching although often over the last few weeks the pain has felt more centered on one or two teeth that are next to each other (and one of those tooth also has a large filling). Last night my teeth were aching so bad I would have swore blind it was toothache but this morning I'm convinced again it's my sinuses. It's driving me crazy.

Normally, I'd just go to the dentist to ask them to have a look at my teeth but at the moment they are only seeing emergencies and the process to get an appointment sounds like a real pain in the arse (I'm in Scotland).

Anyone able to help put my mind at rest that this sounds sinus related and I'm not going to have to get a tooth out!

OP’s posts: |
MillyMollyMardy Fri 22-May-20 11:17:24

Dentist here. It sounds more like your sinuses that your teeth.
If it's been going on for a while I would have expected you to have been able to pinpoint it by now if it was a tooth.
Two simple tests should help you. Sinus pain is usually worsened by leaning forward, toothache it doesn't usually change. Are either of your filled teeth in the top tender if you press on them?
There was some research that showed that a small minority of sinus infections were toothy in origin so don't rule out the teeth but I'd stick with sinus management firstly unless it starts to feel completely tooth related.
Beconase takes a few weeks to work so don't expect and instant result. Have they also told you to do steam inhalations? Ideal with some oil of Eucalyptus. The sinuses are really poor at draining so it helps to loosen up the congestion. You could consider sinus lavage it can be very helpful. Do you have hayfever is this triggering it?

bobbythejobby Fri 22-May-20 19:37:41

Thanks for your reply. I had hayfever as a teenager but haven't had it for about 15 years now, don't have any symptoms of hayfever but I wouldn't rule it out, it did cross my mind as my house is surrounded by trees and woods and lots of grass. They didn't mention steam inhalation but I did read about it on another thread so I tried that last night and did think it helped the achy teeth for a short while. I tried the leaning forward trick last night too but aside from making my cheeks and the bridge of my nose hurt it didn't make my teeth hurt any worse.

I actually did manage to get a dentist appointment today but honestly I don't think they are all that certain where the pain is coming from either. He done the whole tapping on my teeth, holding something cold against it to see if it triggered the pain, had me bite down on something (felt like paper?), took x-rays etc. but he couldn't pinpoint which of the two filled teeth on the top was the issue. He proposed it might be that I am grinding my teeth and because I also have an overbite I am putting some kind of pressure on these two teeth which is why they are worn down and have fillings in the first place. It does make sense in a way because I'm actually missing the other three first premolar or canine (think it's the premolar) teeth and I do remember this being mentioned to me before when I had another one out that it was because of my overbite and putting pressure on these teeth. The only teeth I've ever had issues with or are missing are these particular teeth on each side so it looks like me not getting my overbite fixed (my choice) means that I am going to end up losing all these teeth. So now I'm even more confused because I'm having sinus symptoms (granted they are rather mild sinus symptoms but the earache is really bothering me tonight) but the dentist thinks it's tooth related but we can't seem to pinpoint which tooth it is. Really frustrating but I've agreed to try and get a mouthguard to stop me grinding my teeth, try sensodyne for a few weeks and then god knows but I hope it settles soon as seven weeks is such a long time. Sorry for the rather long reply - I'll persevere meantime and continue taking the beconase just to see if it makes a difference in case it is maybe sinus related.

OP’s posts: |
opalescent Sat 23-May-20 19:23:09

It sounds very much like the symptoms that I I get from grinding, it might well be that. Did your dentist notice any signs of wear on your teeth?

Also....where did you manage to see a dentist? Was it through a referral into a hub, or did you find an open private practice? Thank you 😊

olivo Sat 23-May-20 19:42:43

I had a similar problem. Taking one oral decongestant each morning seemed to really help which made me sure it was sinus. Also ,each time I turned over in bed, I could feel it draining from side to side. Took me a couple of weeks to work it out though.

bobbythejobby Mon 25-May-20 09:43:29

@opalescent - Sorry for the long reply. the dentist did say I had a lot of wear on the tooth that I think is the one causing the problems. It's been a bit better the last few days but still a bit tender. I'm in Scotland. I phoned my normal dentist who made a referral to the community dental service and they called me and offered me an appointment. The receptiontist at my normal dental practice made me think I wasn't going to get an appointment - she said they were only seeing absolute emergencies and the only option I would get once I was there was to have the tooth extracted but that didn't turn out to be true at all. In fact, I was actually seen super-duper quick and the dentist spent ages examining my teeth and taking x-rays, it was the most in-depth appointment i've ever had but maybe they were just quiet. I phoned my dentist in the morning at nine and then I got an appointment at one of the dental centres at 1130. Was shocked how quick it was!

@olivo - I can feel my sinuses draining when I take the beconase nasal spray. I'm still not sure if my tooth problems are down to my sinuses or the tooth grinding or what on earth is going on. So frustrating.

OP’s posts: |
opalescent Mon 25-May-20 09:52:50

Wow! That's great news, and certainly not in keeping with the awful stories I've heard. I'm very pleased to hear that you had such a good service 😁


Talulahoopla Tue 26-May-20 22:00:33

About this time last year I had horrible sinus problems, lasted for weeks and went through several nasal sprays. It did eventually just about clear up and then toothache kicked in. Went to the dentist and had an abscess which needed a root canal. Apparently the tooth infection was so close to sinuses that it would have been causing the sinus problems. A year on, teeth been feeling weird and I'm convinced there's an issue with the root canal. Asked the dentist just before lockdown but he said it's fine having done some tapping and x-rays. Been having sinus type issues for a few weeks and hoping that's all it is but having niggles, discomfort and major sensitivity in a couple of teeth which makes me think otherwise. Really can't wait to see the dentist to check. I think about it so much I sometimes don't know if I'm just imagining the pain now. I'm so worried a bad infection could develop that I'm barely sleeping and anxiety is through the roof knowing I can't see a dentist. Hopefully see one sooner rather than later to put my mind at ease.

TheQueenOfTheNight Tue 26-May-20 22:32:00

If you have a hot water bottle, try holding it on the affected side (or lie down with it). Along with the earlier ideas, this can help sinus problems.

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