Rockwall Oral Surgery

Is it a Sinus Headache or a Toothache?

Your head is pounding. You can’t think straight, you’re having trouble communicating effectively, you’re struggling to stay focused; we’ve all been there. Headaches can happen unexpectedly and can cause your plans to go off the rails. How can you tell if your headache is from a sinus infection or a toothache? We’ve got a few things for you to look out for. 

If you’re experiencing the following symptoms, you likely have a sinus headache:

  • Stuffy nose
  • Fatigue or extreme tiredness
  • Worsening pain if you bend over or lie down
  • Pain or pressure in your brows or forehead

The main thing to look for to help understand the difference between a sinus headache and a toothache is whether or not the pain or pressure increases when you lean forward. If you find bending over, leaning over, or even laying down increases the intensity of these symptoms, then you’re most likely experiencing a sinus headache.

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, however, it might be a toothache:

  • Pain in tooth or teeth that may be sharp, dull, or throbbing
  • Hot or cold sensitivity
  • Bad odor from mouth
  • Fever

These symptoms are often consistent regardless of posture, unlike a sinus headache. Another way to tell a sinus headache and a toothache apart is the location of the pain; a sinus-related toothache typically generates pain on both sides of the face, while a toothache is usually localized to the side of the face that the tooth is on. These symptoms may be caused by other underlying issues such as bruxism, cavities, or gum disease and should be treated by a professional. 

Checking your dental history is also important in diagnosing your problem. If you or a family member has had a history of toothaches or sinus infections in the past, this knowledge could help you get to the root of your problem. If you find yourself prone to sinus infections or toothaches, it may be helpful to keep a personal health journal or your past issues in order to help you and your doctors understand your dental and healthcare needs.