Sinusitis is very common and is normally caused by a viral infection. It normally subsides after ten days. You may experience facial pain and commonly experience worsening pain when bending over or lying down. The pain will normally spread from one side to the other. It is best to see your dentist to establish the correct diagnosis.
Tip: You should always see a dentist if you suffer from tooth pain, toothache or facial pain as their academic background and qualification enables them to diagnose the problem effectively.
What is sinusitis?
This is an inflammation and a swelling of the inner lining of the paranasal sinuses (adjacent to the nasal cavity). These sinuses are hollow spaces filled with air behind the bones of the face that contain mucus which normally drains into the nose keeping it moist and helping trap dirt particles and germs. In sinusitis, the swelling blocks the sinuses preventing the mucus from draining properly into the nose. This blocked mucus causes pressure inside the sinuses and this can be very painful.
Bacteria, virus or a fungus are the usual cause for this inflammation, however it can sometimes be an allergic or autoimmune reaction.
How common are sinus infections?
Sinusitis is quite common. Sinusitis can actually develop from a simple cold when the body cannot quite fight off the bacteria or virus that has caused the cold in the first place. It is usually only a temporary condition and can go away with time. If the symptoms do not clear up very easily, medication will help to treat it.
What are the symptoms of sinus infections?
The severity of sinusitis can vary for different people, and some or all of the following symptoms could be experienced:
- Stuffy nose or a runny nose.
- Sneezing often
- Clear or yellow/green discharge from the nose
- Coughing and frequent clearing of the throat
- Pain around the nose, face and around the eyes
- Pain around the teeth
- Headaches that worsen when lying down or when standing up
- Bad breath
How do I prevent sinus headaches and sinus pain?
It is difficult to prevent any form of sinusitis as it is a common ailment that can affect many people. However there are a few things you can do to try and limit your chances of causing inflammation of the sinus lining. These include eliminating smoking and alcohol habits (both are known to cause irritation of the sinus membranes). Good oral hygiene will help prevent oral infections. Staying hydrated and drinking lots of water will increase the amount of moisture in the body and help prevent congestion.
How is sinusitis treated?
For many people sinusitis can clear up on its own. However, some medication can be used to help treat it faster. Antibiotics can help clear away any infection, but it may take up to a month to work. Decongestant nasal sprays can work in the short-term to reduce any mucus membrane swellings. Steroid nasal sprays can also be used to try and help deal with the infection.
It is important to see your dentist or doctor to assess your sinusitis and decide what the best course of treatment may be.