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Odontogenic Sinusitis: How your teeth can cause sinusitis

Odontogenic sinusitis is a condition is an inflammation of the sinus cavities caused by a dental issue. In this blog post explaisn what odontogenic sinusitis is, its symptoms, causes, diagnosis, and treatments, including sinus surgery.

What is Odontogenic Sinusitis? Odontogenic sinusitis is an infection in the sinus cavities caused by a problem with one or more of your teeth. The sinus cavities are located above your upper teeth and behind your cheekbones. When an infection occurs in a tooth, it can spread to the nearby sinus cavity and cause inflammation and swelling.

Symptoms of Odontogenic Sinusitis The symptoms of odontogenic sinusitis can include (but are not limited to):

  • Headache

  • Facial pain/ facial pressure

  • Nasal discharge

  • Nasal congestion/ nasal obstruction

  • Toothache

  • Tooth sensitivity

  • Bad taste in the mouth

  • Altered smell

Causes of Odontogenic Sinusitis Odontogenic sinusitis is caused by a dental issue that leads to an infection in the tooth. Common dental issues that can cause odontogenic sinusitis include:

  • Tooth decay

  • Gum disease

  • Dental abscess

  • Dental surgery/ procedures

Diagnosis of Odontogenic Sinusitis To diagnose odontogenic sinusitis, your dentist or ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialist may perform a physical exam, Dental X-rays, CT scans of the sinuses, and a nasal endoscopy. These tests will help determine if you have an infection in the sinus cavity and identify the cause of the infection.



The image above depicts a CT scan showing a patient with odontogenic sinusitis on their right side (left side of the screen). The sinuses with increased grey signal are inflammed and you may notice a breakdown of bone causing a connection between a tooth and the maxillary (cheek) sinus.

Treatment of Odontogenic Sinusitis The treatment for odontogenic sinusitis will depend on the cause of the infection. In many cases, treating the underlying dental issue, such as extracting the affected tooth or treating gum disease, can resolve the sinusitis. Antibiotics may also be prescribed to treat the infection.

Sinus Surgery In many cases, sinus surgery may be necessary to treat odontogenic sinusitis. Sinus surgery involves removing any infected or damaged tissue and draining the sinus cavity. This can help relieve the pressure and inflammation in the sinus cavity and allow for proper healing.

Prevention of Odontogenic Sinusitis To prevent odontogenic sinusitis, it is important to maintain good oral hygiene and see your dentist regularly. Prompt treatment of any dental problems can help prevent the spread of infection to the sinus cavity.

In conclusion, odontogenic sinusitis is a condition that is caused by a dental issue and can lead to inflammation in the sinus cavities. Symptoms of odontogenic sinusitis can include headache, facial pain, and difficulty breathing through the nose. Treatment for odontogenic sinusitis may include antibiotics, extraction of the affected tooth, or sinus surgery. By maintaining good oral hygiene and promptly treating dental problems, you can help prevent odontogenic sinusitis.



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