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If you’ve recently had a root canal in Wauwatosa, you may be experiencing symptoms that seem like a sinus infection. Symptoms can include a runny nose, nasal pressure, and post-nasal drip. At McCue Dental Health, we want to ensure that your healing process is smooth, so we strive to keep every patient informed about what to expect during root canal aftercare. Here is everything you need to know about sinus infections following root canal therapy:

Chronic Sinus Infections Can Be Caused By Infected Teeth

It’s important to understand that sinus infections can actually be caused by an infected tooth. If one of your upper teeth (particularly the upper-rear teeth) is infected, there is likely quite a bit of bacteria at the root of the tooth.

The roots of your upper teeth are extremely close to your sinus lining and sinus cavity. In some cases, the root can actually poke through the floor of the sinus. In a severe tooth infection, the bacteria may cause the bone to decay and break down, allowing the infection to spread into your sinus lining, causing sinusitis.

This is also known as “sinusitis of endodontic origin.” If you are experiencing sinus infection-like symptoms after a root canal, this may be the issue. Your root canal will have removed the infection from your tooth, but your sinuses may still be infected. You may need to see a doctor to get appropriate treatment to eliminate the source of your infection.

Root Canals Do Not Cause Sinus Infections, But Can Cause Similar Symptoms!

Root canals do not cause sinus infections. However, if you’re still suffering from symptoms that seem like sinusitis after a root canal, it’s likely that you have what’s known as a “sinus communication.”

This means that there is a small hole in your sinus lining near the root of your treated tooth. Your sinus lining is very close to the root of your tooth and it is very delicate and thin. It’s possible that your dentist may have punctured it during the root canal process.

The symptoms of this are quite similar to a sinus infection, which is why some people think that it may be possible for a root canal to cause a sinus infection. You may notice things like:

  • Congestion and sinus pressure
  • Sinus pain
  • Runny nose
  • Post-nasal drip

However, there are some symptoms of a sinus communication that are not common in sinusitis, such as:

  • Feeling fluid go into your nose when drinking
  • Feeling air go across the socket of your tooth when you breathe

The good news is that sinus communications will heal on their own, usually in just a few days. However, you should contact a dentist like Dr. McCue if you notice symptoms that persist for 1-2 weeks or more. You may need further help to treat your sinus communication. 

Know The Difference Between Sinusitis And A Sinus Communication!

Root canals can’t cause sinus infections, but they can cause similar symptoms if your sinus lining is punctured during treatment. If you need more information about root canals or you suspect that you may have a sinus communication and need help with treatment, don’t wait. Contact McCue Dental Health now at (414) 456-1091, or stop by our office at 10625 West North Avenue, Suite 300, Wauwatosa, WI 53226 to schedule your appointment.

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