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Maxillary Sinus or Tooth Infection Issue?
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Maxillary Sinus or Tooth Infection Issue?

Hi! My name is Megan. In 2003 while in high school, I had to eventually go to the emergency room because the entire left side of my face swelled up awful out of nowhere and hurt.  They gave me antibiotics, a steroid shot and said it was 'Sinusitis'. The swelling eventually went away and things went back to normal with the exception that to this day I've had what I describe as extra tissue that is below my nose inside up upper lip.....you can't see it looking at me, I can only feel it when I run my finger along the inside of my upper lip towards my nose.  It is sensitive there and I have had some upper tooth sensitivity come and go.  

Every once in a while, if I get congested or sick, my left maxillary sinus (on the same side my face swelled) will get blocked up and be very stubborn.  When that sinus gets stopped up, it affects that extra tissue area I was describing inside my upper lip/base of nose....and I know this sounds gross....but sometimes I'll get a little bit of drainage there.  

I am writing this for a couple of reasons. I have been to the dentist and he said that I may need a root canal done on my upper front teeth because he could see an infection in x-rays of the area I've described.  I never got this done because of money/lack of insurance. I work full time now and just now got health insurance. My employer will partially reimburse me for dental expenses but I have to pay for them up front.  I'm wondering if I should go to a doctor and get a referral to an Ear, Nose & Throat doctor (is it a sinus issue?) OR should I go to a dentist (is it a tooth infection issue).

I am tired of having the maxillary sinus get stopped up and blocked....tired of the awkward 'sensitive extra tissue' that randomly drains in my upper interior lip.....(and I promise you can not see it looking at me, it's not some major abnormal growth or anything that is visible).

I am scared because I woke up this morning with a clump of blood in my mouth (that can come from the area I've described from my upper lip where it had apparently drained while I was sleeping) and blood all through my mouth.  Before when it has drained it's been a mucous-type...never any blood.....I brushed my teeth before bed and perhaps I brushed too hard and agitated it making it bleed? I don't know...but it seems odd either way...

I just don't want to go spending all this money up front with a dentist necessarily if it's actually a sinus issue and my health insurance can cover it.

If anyone has any ideas/tips, please let me know.  I know from research that maxillary sinus issues can be the result of either tooth infections or sinus cancer or some other sinus issue so I may be asking too vague a question.

I appreciate your thoughts and time.

Thanks!

Megan
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I certainly think seeing an ENT is a good idea.  Infected tooth roots from the upper teeth can go inside the maxillary sinus and cause sinusitis.  The extra tissue you are experiencing might be a polyp from chronically inflamed sinuses.  You might need a CT of the sinuses for more information.  However, if you do have an infected tooth, you will still need to have this addressed as dental infections can be potentially life-threatening.
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11 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_dr_f_tn
Hello and hope you are doing well.

All sinuses drain into the nose. It's unlikely to have any connection to the mouth, unless any invasive surgeries have been performed. I would advise you to consult your dentist and have your tooth infection resolved. As, this will help to stop the drainage and will help reduce the infection and pain.

Hope this helped and do keep us posted.
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Avatar_m_tn
It's not unusual for an infection of an upper tooth to leak into the maxillary sinuses, so put your first money on the dentist.  Antibiotics work on tooth infections, but not sinus infections, so I'd recommend a Neilmed Sinus Rinse, which is effective for maxillary sinuses, and only costs $13
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1948690_tn?1333471668
I certainly think seeing an ENT is a good idea.  Infected tooth roots from the upper teeth can go inside the maxillary sinus and cause sinusitis.  The extra tissue you are experiencing might be a polyp from chronically inflamed sinuses.  You might need a CT of the sinuses for more information.  However, if you do have an infected tooth, you will still need to have this addressed as dental infections can be potentially life-threatening.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you so much!  I will definitely get it checked out as soon as I can.  Thanks again!
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Avatar_f_tn
That makes sense!  Thanks for helping! :)
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you!
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Avatar_m_tn
my son woke up with a very swollen upper lip this morning, we put ice on it and it is still swollen, he didn't tell me till now that he has a tooth bothering him, do you think these could be related? i know you said about the swelling on inside of his lip,but his is on the outside as well ?
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Avatar_f_tn
Just spent the last year dealIng with the exact same thing I went the ent route because I had med ins and no dental big mistake ent misdiagnosed lump after biopsy and many test later he scares me and my family with undetected rare deseases that led to acute granulosus desease finally paid to see endodontist and fixed me right up pay the money and go to endodontist!!!
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Avatar_m_tn
I have had both upper and lower teeth problems. May have a couple broken teeth at the moment but cannot afford to see a dentist. Over the past year I have experienced a post nasal drip. It gets so bad at times I need to grab an inhaler and get really short of breath. I have been to an ENT and he only saw a tiny polyp that didn't seem to be a big problem Over this time period I have had two really bad sinus infections which required a series of antibiotics. The post nasal drip happens in the middle of the night when sleeping, it happens when I am working and bend over (clear fluid pours out). I am seeing an allergist tomorrow to see if its just adult onset of allergies.
I am so tired of ingesting these inhalers, coughing and losing my sense of smell. The one thing I am starting to think is my teeth are in need of root canals and maybe that is the real problem.
If anyone has any suggestion please let me know.

Thank you!
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Avatar_f_tn
in relation to spending money at the dentist. a dentist can reffer you to an ent. and potentially both sinus or teeth could be the result to your problem. I work in dental and have been doing the studies between teeth and sinus as I myself have no infection lesion on my root tips but do have pain in a tooth. with a retention cyst sitting above the tooth. if when they take the X-ray there is an infection I would go ahead with root canal.  if the root tip is sitting in the floor of the sinus I would then ask to see a ent before commencing with a rct. asking the dentist to first get an opg will be a good indercation on if you may have. cyst as it will show in this X-ray. infections in teeth can cause many problems, not just a sore tooth or swollen face. the infection like anyone is siting there if you we're to get a big infected wound on your leg you would have it treated or it could spread or cause other infectious condition and can cause great illness.  if you are having other symptoms aswell as sinus pain. migraines etc then get dentist to reffer you to ent. hope this helps
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Avatar_m_tn
I am a healthy 43 year old male who started experiencing sinus problem over a year ago out of nowhere. Pressure in my sinuses, nausea, and strong fatigue were the main symptoms. Very little to no discharge occurring. I have spent time and money over the last year trying to figure out what is going on. These symptoms were strong and changed my state of being in a dramatic way. I also experienced sinus infections during this time. It basically felt like one long sinus infection. Antibiotics did not work. Went to ENT and over the course of many catscans and visits, had sinus surgery done after about 7 months of intencse symptoms. My right sinus was completely backed up and became the focus of pressure. I had a hard time recovering from surgery, it took like 3 months to get back to feeling halfway normal, I was weak, got a couple sinus infections, and felt like I had upper respitory issues the whole time. I finally recovered and my sinus' began to drain better, but still was not normal. Luckily, I began to have some pain when drinking hot beverages so I went to see a dentist and I needed a root canal to an upper molar, right below the impacted sinus. In addition, It turned out a had a cyst in the root of the tooth next to the dead tooth that apparently was the cause of the sinus issues. I had a procedure done that got rid of the cyst after the root canal about 5 weeks ago now and have been feeling way better. Although I am not sure I am completely out of the woods, it certainly appears the cyst was the culprit, although I still seem to have some lingering issues based possibly on diet. Hope this has helped any one that reads this
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