If a dentist cannot assign the patient’s toothache despite X-rays and other tests, it is not uncommon for a cold to cause the pain. But how does a cold affect tooth, and where does the pain come from? Learn more about the causes, symptoms, and treatments for toothache for cold here.
Causes of toothache with a cold
The most common causes of toothache are tooth decay, periodontitis, muscle tension because of teeth grinding, or diseases of the dental nerve. Sometimes, the toothache does not originate in the mouth but is caused by an inflammation of the sinuses or other diseases in the nasopharynx.
Why does a cold cause tooth pain?
Directly above the oral cavity, to the right and left of the nose, are the large paranasal sinuses, also called maxillary sinuses. Besides the maxillary sinus, humans have other sinuses, such as another cavity behind the forehead, the so-called “frontal sinus”. With a cold, a runny nose, or a sinus infection (sinusitis), the bacteria feel comfortable in the warm, moist cavities of the sinuses – and secretion collects in the maxillary sinuses and in the frontal sinus. In addition, the mucous membrane in the sinuses swells until it becomes blocked: your nose is tight, your head feels heavy.
This nasal congestion can also cause a toothache. If the nose is blocked by a swelling of the mucous membrane and accumulated secretion, the pressure also affects the teeth. The pain is then often perceived as a toothache in the upper jaw because the tooth roots in the upper jaw are exceptionally long and the root tips are in the sinus cavity.
Other causes: Chronic maxillary sinus inflammation because of a dead tooth
Sometimes a dead tooth with its roots protruding into the maxillary sinus can cause chronic inflammation in this sinus. Here, the tooth nerve must be removed in a root canal treatment. The swelling of the mucous membrane usually disappears after the successful treatment of the dead tooth root.
Typical symptoms of inflammation of the sinuses (sinusitis)
With sinusitis, besides other symptoms, pain in the upper jaw teeth occurs. How the expression of the misfiling varies. Many patients feel pressure pain, while others’ teeth are sensitive to knocking. It is noticeable, however, that
several teeth are affected at the same time.
Symptoms of an acute sinus infection:
· Several teeth in the upper jaw are sensitive to knocking / pressure
· general feeling of weakness
· a headache
· runny/stuffy nose
· Pressure on the head/face when leaning forward
Treating a cold & sinus infection with toothache
If healthy teeth cause pain when you have a cold, a visit to the dentist, or special treatment for the toothache is usually unnecessary. Once the symptoms of the common cold go away, your toothache will go away too. If this is not the case, have it examined by your dentist.
Treating a cold
Regardless of the toothache, cold or mild sinusitis is treated with hot drinks and decongestant nasal sprays or nasal drops, unless otherwise prescribed. For the pain, you can take an anti-inflammatory or fever-lowering pain reliever after consulting your doctor. In addition, it has proven to be useful to additionally moisten the mucous membranes by inhalation.
Home remedies & tips for treating a cold:
· hot drinks
· nasal decongestant sprays or nasal drops
· Inhale with saline or essential oils
· in consultation with your doctor: over-the-counter pain relievers
Treatment of severe sinus infection
With severe sinusitis, besides the use of nasal drops, nasal sprays, inhalation, and over-the-counter pain relievers, prescription drugs, such as antibiotics, must be prescribed in rare cases.
The cause of your symptoms is then a serious bacterial infection that cannot be compared to a runny nose or a cold. In addition, you can carry out the measures described above, in consultation with your doctor, to support the antibiotic treatment.
No matter whether you suffer from a cold, a runny nose, a sinus infection, or a toothache: We wish you a speedy recovery!