Can A Root Canal Cause A Sinus Infection? What You Need to Know

By AOO on November 4, 2021 under Sinusitis

Can A Root Canal Cause A Sinus Infection? What You Need to Know

If you’ve had a root canal performed recently, you may be having sinus problems that resemble a sinus infection. Although it may not be your first thought, it’s possible that your sinus issues are related to your oral health. If you are experiencing sinus pressure, a runny nose, or congestion following your root canal, the professionals at Associates of Otolaryngology are here to help.

Infected Teeth Can Lead to Sinus Infections

An infected tooth can cause a sinus infection. The roots of the teeth in the upper-rear region of the mouth are very close to the sinus cavity and lining. If an infected tooth progresses far enough, the bacteria causing the infection can lead to bone decay, exposing your sinus lining and causing sinusitis.

Your doctor may refer to this condition as “maxillary sinusitis of endodontic origin.” The root canal took care of the bacteria in your tooth. However, if the tooth infection has already exposed your sinus lining, there is a risk of contracting sinusitis. If your symptoms persist, consult your doctor for treatment.

Why You May Be Experiencing Symptoms of Sinusitis After A Root Canal

Sinus discomfort following a root canal procedure is most likely not due to a sinus infection. The more likely explanation is a “sinus communication” that occurred during your root canal. A sinus communication is a small puncture in your sinus lining at the root of your tooth. The sinus lining is fragile and thin, so your dentist used may have accidentally injured the lining during your root canal. Many of the symptoms of sinus communication and sinus infections overlap, which explains why many people think a root canal can cause sinusitis. However, two unique symptoms indicate a sinus communication rather than a sinus infection.

Sinus Communication and Sinus Infection Shared Symptoms

  • Congestion
  • Nasal pressure
  • Rhinorrhea (runny nose)
  • Post-nasal drip

Symptoms Unique to Sinus Communications

  • Feeling fluid enter your nose while drinking
  • Feeling air rushing across your teeth while breathing through your nose

Thankfully, sinus communications usually heal on their own in a few days. If your symptoms persist longer than a week, you should contact an ENT at Associates of Otolaryngology to seek further treatment.

Schedule a Consultation

While root canals are rarely the source of sinus infections, they can result in similar symptoms if the treated tooth is in the upper rear of your mouth and the root canal procedure resulted in sinus communication. If you want more information or believe you have a sinus communication resulting from your root canal, contact the Associates of Otolaryngology today. AOO has successfully treated the full spectrum of ear, nose, and throat health concerns for over 40 years. You’re always close to quality care with locations in Denver, Lone Tree, and Castle Rock. To schedule a consultation, fill out some basic information on our online contact form or call the nearest office location.