According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, over 28 million adults in the United States suffer from some sort of sinus infection at some point in their lives. If you are one of them, you know how painful this infection can be and how it can make your life miserable and ruin your day. Sinus pain and tooth pain, in this case, go hand in hand, as the pressure in the nasal cavity can cause a great discomfort in your teeth. Teeth affected by the sinus infection are usually upper back teeth closer to the maxillary sinuses which are conveniently located in the cheekbones, right above the upper jaw.
As you can imagine, drainage of these sinus cavities is substantially harder than those located in the upper regions of the face, as they are located below the nasal passages. When the sinus becomes clogged with mucus, the bacteria is trapped inside and causes the swelling and mucus buildup which creates the pressure that results in a pesky toothache. In this case, your dentist is of no use, and the only way to alleviate the pain is to solve the sinus problem. So, what can you do about this?
Steam and Fluids
Everyone and their mother probably know that drinking plenty of fluids is essential when it comes to sinus drainage and overall health, so it is no wonder that this is the first recommendation on our list. Water and warm drinks such as peppermint tea or ginger tea will help hydrate the mucus membranes and thin out the mucus, letting it escape the sinus cavities easier and faster. When you suffer from sinusitis (sinus inflammation), it is crucial to stay hydrated, as dehydration can cause a myriad of problems for your whole body. If you do become dehydrated, opt for coconut water rich in electrolytes such as potassium, sodium, and magnesium, which helps support your immune system.
The other thing you can do is take all the benefits of steamy showers. You can take steamy showers twice a day for best results, or inhale steam as an alternative. To do this, boil a pot of water and add a couple of tablespoons of fresh or dried herbs to it. You can use basil, mint, or whatever you prefer. Drape a towel over your head and breathe in the steam for about 20 minutes each day, two or three times a day.
Spice Up Your Food
Spicing up your dishes will not only make them tastier but will also help with the mucus buildup that causes a toothache. Adding chili peppers or horseradish to your meals will help immensely, as both of these spices have properties which thin the mucus and can give you instant relief. Also, adding a lot of pepper to your warm soups can be beneficial. Check with your doctor for allergies and spice up your life!
Using over-the-counter expectorants and decongestants can relieve the pressure quite fast. According to the Baylor College of Medicine, expectorants “melt” the mucus, and decongestants dry out the nasal passages and sinus cavities to make the pressure go away. Over-the-counter decongestants such as Sudafed or Actifed can be found in liquids, tablets, or as nasal sprays.
Another short-term, option is to use pain relievers such as aspirin, acetaminophens such as Tylenol, or ibuprofen, such as Advil, Motrin IB, or others.
According to the Mayo clinic, non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs, also known as NAIDs, are the most effective when it comes to sinus related toothache as they alleviate the pain and help fight the inflammation at its core.
There are various tinctures made from salicylate herbs that help with the pain. The bark of willow, oak, and poplar trees are known for their pain-reducing benefits, and they work best if applied directly to the tooth. A tincture made from cow parsnip seed is also a famous herbal relief, and a few drops on a cotton swab smeared on the gums and around the tooth will work wonders.
Another option is clove bud essential oil which also alleviates the pain quite successfully, but you should be careful when using this one. Too much can actually irritate your gums, so use with caution. Also, be aware that these herbal remedies will not solve the sinus problem, but will only alleviate the pain in your teeth.
Garlic is not only super delicious, but it is also widely known for its healing powers. The bacteria which causes the infection of the sinuses is helpless against garlic, so taking garlic capsules three times a day can help your body get rid of the unwanted guest faster. Also, applying crushed garlic cloves to your aching tooth can help stop the pain.
Ginger root is also an amazing remedy you can use to alleviate the symptoms of sinus infection. It helps fight the bacteria and reduce the inflammation, thus relieving the pain. You can take it in a capsule form, you can grind it, or you can make a delicious ginger tea and sip it throughout the day.
To make the tea, boil two cups of water and slice a thumb-sized piece of ginger. Add the ginger to the boiling water and let it simmer for about 20 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and let the ginger steep for about 5-10 minutes. Add some honey to your tea and drink several times a day.