What does getting sedated at the dentist have to do with a chronic sinus problem? If your sinus issue is related to a tooth infection, a dentist can help you get the relief you need.
The Tooth and Sinus Connection
According to a January 2019 article published in the online journal, MDLinx, chronic sinus infections are often caused or intensified by chronic tooth infections. A tooth infection can spread into your sinus cavity. Although you might receive antibiotics for a sinus infection, after you’ve finished the medication, the untreated tooth infection can cause the sinus infection to recur.
Maxillary sinusitis of endodontic origin (MSEO) is the medical term for a sinus infection that results from a tooth infection. Usually, the problem occurs with infection in upper back teeth.
What’s the Solution?
Your dentist will examine and x-ray your teeth. If there is an infection in your tooth, your dentist will remove it with root canal treatment. If the issue with your tooth is complex, your dentist might refer you to an endodontist, or root canal specialist.
The procedure cleans out the infected pulp (living tissue, including nerves) in your tooth—completely through the roots. Your dentist or specialist will fill your hollow tooth with dental filler material and seal it. Your dentist will protect the tooth with a dental crown. About half of all patients with MSEO who receive a root canal treatment also experience sinus relief and require no further care. If the thought of dental procedures increases your anxiety, your dentist can give you a mild sedative to help you relax.
What’s the Connection with Sedation Dentistry?
Let’s admit it. If you have a lingering toothache, you’ve probably delayed seeing a dentist for it. Dental anxiety is one of the main reasons that people delay, reschedule, or cancel appointments. Sedation can make the difference you need. How does it help?
1. Relaxes You
There are varying levels of sedation available to match your anxiety level and the complexity of the dental procedure you will receive. Nitrous oxide (laughing gas) might be all you need to unwind, but if it’s not enough, your dentist can provide you with a mild anti-anxiety pill to take before your appointment. You won’t become anxious at the sights and sounds of dental tools.
2. Decreases Your Sensitivity to Pain
Your relaxed state will decrease your sensitivity to pain. You won’t be “on alert” for a slight pinch or other sensations that you might otherwise anticipate.
3. Helps Your Dentist Accomplish More
Sedation—your relaxed state—allows your dentist to focus on your dental procedure. Interruptions from anxiety attacks or pauses in treatment won’t be an issue. You’ll have a productive visit. And you won’t have to reschedule the appointment due to anxiety.
Which comes first—the sinus infection or the toothache? It could be the toothache, and sedation can help you get rid of both.
Dr. Miranda Lacy, a female dentist in Plano, TX, sponsors this blog. She is also a