How Oral Surgery Affects Your Sinuses

The sinuses are interconnected, air-filled cavities in the skull that link to nasal passages. These passages facilitate the flow of mucus into the nose and air into the sinuses. The sinuses are crucial for producing mucus, which traps dust and other particles, preventing them from reaching the lungs. They also produce enzymes and antibodies to fight against infections.

It’s common for people to experience sinusitis-like infections after undergoing oral surgery, specifically tooth extractions. This begs the question of how our dental health relates to our sinuses. Today’s post explores how oral surgery affects your sinuses and what you can do about it.

Why Does Oral Surgery Affect Sinuses?

Sinuses are located just above the teeth in the upper jaw. Oral surgeries like tooth extractions in the upper jaw may sometimes affect your sinuses. Here are a couple of ways tooth extractions affect your sinuses:

Maxillus Sinus Perforations

The roots of the upper molars and premolars sometimes extend into the maxillary sinus. A tooth extraction involves rocking and pulling at the tooth to free it from its sockets. This rocking and pulling motion could puncture the sinus, causing perforations. 

Sinus Infections

The perforation of the maxillary sinus can create a conduit for bacteria to enter the sinus. This is especially true if the reason for the tooth extraction was severe dental decay. The bacteria from the teeth can infect the sinuses, causing pain, pressure, and nasal congestion.

How Long Will the Pain Last?

How long the pain from a sinus infection lasts varies depending on several factors, including the type and severity of the infection and whether you receive treatment. Here’s a brief breakdown of the types of sinus infections and their pain durations:

  • Acute sinusitis

Acute sinusitis is caused by bacterial infection, usually from extracting an infected tooth. The pain from acute sinusitis peaks in the first few days and begins to taper off over the next few weeks, disappearing in the third week. You might experience a toothache-like pain, slight pain around the eyes, and pressure and fullness in the head.

  • Chronic Sinusitis

Chronic sinusitis is caused by widespread infection of the sinuses that causes swelling in the sinuses’ lining. This infection sometimes leads to nasal polyps, which are tiny growths in the sinus. Pain associated with chronic sinusitis can last for twelve weeks or more but is usually less intense than that of acute sinusitis.

What Can I Do to Relieve the Pain?

Pain from a sinus infection can range from mild discomfort to downright unbearable. Here are a couple of tips to deal with the pain:

  • Take over-the-counter pain medication
  • Use a warm compress over your face
  • Try nasal corticosteroid sprays
  • Inhale steam
  • Irrigate your nose with a saline solution
  • Visit a dentist for treatment

We Can Help With Your Sinus Infection

A sinus infection or connection is normal after dental surgeries involving your upper teeth. Taking early action can help keep the infection from spreading and worsening. Your dentist will prescribe antibiotics and home remedies to help keep the infections in check.

At Coastal Virginia Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, we believe in comprehensive dental care to ensure the health of your teeth, gums, and sinuses. ContactCoastal Virginia Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery for professional and expedient dental care, including sinus infection treatment.