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Can A Root Canal Cause A Sinus Infection? Everything You Need To Know

A person experiencing a sinus infectionIf you’ve recently had a root canal and your sinuses feel stuffy, you may be wondering if your procedure is the cause of these symptoms. Can a root canal cause a sinus infection? The team at North Hills Family Dental wants you to know what to expect after every restorative dental procedure, so here’s everything you need to know about sinus infections and root canal therapy:

Sinus Infections (Sinusitis) Can Actually Be Caused By A Tooth Infection!

Before we discuss whether or not a root canal can cause a sinus infection, we should first explain that sinus infections are often caused by infected teeth. If one of your upper teeth becomes infected, particularly those near the rear of your mouth, there may be a lot of bacteria gathering at the root of the tooth, which is very close to the sinus lining.

If the infection is bad enough to cause the bone protecting your sinus to decay, bacteria can move from your infected tooth into your sinuses, causing a sinus infection (also known as sinusitis). When this happens, it’s called “maxillary sinusitis of endodontic origin” (MSOD). 

If you have been experiencing sinusitis-like symptoms both before and after your root canal, this may be what happened. Even though the infection may have been removed from your tooth during your root canal procedure, the bacteria may still have spread into your sinuses. If this is the case, you may need to see a doctor to get antibiotic treatment to eliminate the infection.

A “Sinus Communication” Caused By A Root Canal Can Lead to Sinusitis-Like Symptoms!

Root canal therapy cannot cause a sinus infection. However, if you start noticing sinusitis-like symptoms after your treatment, you may be having a different issue, known as a “sinus communication”. This typically causes symptoms such as:

  • A runny nose or post-nasal drip
  • Congestion and sinus pressure
  • Pain in the sinuses

A “sinus communication” indicates that during your root canal treatment, a very small opening was made in your sinus lining. This can happen during routine root canal treatment of the upper teeth, since the root of your tooth and the sinus lining are very close to each other. A minor puncture of the sinus lining is called a “sinus communication.” 

The good news is that this issue will resolve on its own, in most cases. Your sinus lining will heal, and you will feel normal after a few days. However, if you notice more serious symptoms or they persist for more than 1-2 weeks, you may need to see a dentist like Dr. Mauro for a checkup. 

Need A Root Canal Or A Checkup In Pittsburgh? Come To North Hills Family Dental!

At North Hills Family Dentist, Dr. Mauro has years of experience in endodontic treatment. With expert care from Dr. Mauro, you can get relief from the pain and discomfort of an infected tooth, and protect your oral health. Interested in scheduling an appointment? Contact us at (412) 364-1477, or stop by our office at 9401 McKnight Road, Suite 307, Pittsburgh, PA 15237 to get more information. 

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