Can a Root Canal Cause a Sinus Infection?

Sometimes, a root canal is necessary to save a badly damaged tooth. While a lot of people are terrified of them, these procedures are safe, pain-free (due to the local anesthesia,) and an effective way to avoid extraction and other restorative treatments.

But, if you start experiencing odd symptoms after your root canal, such as nasal congestion, you may wonder if the treatment can be blamed for your condition.

So, can a root canal cause a sinus infection? Keep reading to find out!

What Is a Root Canal?

While root canals are usually associated with severe tooth decay, that's not the only time you may need one. Your dentist may also recommend a root canal in West Bend if you suffered trauma that damaged the tooth.

Here's how to tell you need a root canal:

  • The tooth is sensitive to hot and cold
  • You feel severe pain every time you bite and chew
  • You have a chipped or cracked tooth
  • You have swollen and tender gums
  • You have advanced tooth decay and gums that turn dark

During root canal therapy, the dentist will remove the damaged pulp and clean the infection. Then, they will fill the pulp chambers and add a crown to protect your tooth and restore its function.

Can a Root Canal Cause a Sinus Infection?

A root canal does not cause a sinus infection, yet an infected and untreated tooth can cause a sinus infection.

The roots of the upper teeth are very deep and closely located to the sinuses. If you have a severe infection, it can reach the deepest part of the tooth root and affect the sinuses too.

While a root canal doesn't cause a sinus infection per se, you can develop similar symptoms, such as congestion, sinus pressure, sinus pain, runny nose, and post-nasal drip. This is known as “sinus communication,” and it happens because the teeth's roots and the sinuses are so close to one another.

Because the symptoms are so similar, a lot of people think that the root canal led to a sinus infection.

However, there's a major difference between a sinus infection and sinus communication. If you only have sinus communication, then you will feel as if fluid goes into your nose when drinking or that air travels through the socket of your tooth when you breathe.

Do I Need a Root Canal?

If you are in a lot of pain, it's best that you get in touch with the team at Oakbrook Dental right away. Root canals are dental emergencies and need to be treated as soon as possible. And if you are experiencing symptoms similar to a sinus infection, then you should get in touch with your doctor.

Contact us if you need more information regarding root canals or our dental services.