Some 9 million people in the UK suffer from sinusitis. It is often caused by a viral or bacterial infection and symptoms include a blocked or runny nose, pain and tenderness in the face and a high temperature. Often the teeth may also appear to ache.
However, dental problems such as toothache and bad breath are also signs of sinusitis.
Bad breath may be a warning sign of potential gum disease – the main cause of tooth loss. It is usually caused by the smelly gases released by bacteria that coat teeth, gums and tongue and reflects a poor oral health routine.
A recent clinical study in America has discovered dental-related diseases in 100% of patients suffering from sinusitis.
The results, although not conclusive, found more than one in four people (29%) had dental pain, while half (48%) of patients reported a rotten smell and bad taste in their mouths, both of which are classic signs of both sinusitis and poor oral health.
Previous links between respiratory problems and poor oral health have been established, including pneumonia and lung disease. As a result, Chief Executive of the British Dental Health Foundation Dr Nigel Carter believes caring for your mouth should always be a top priority.
Dr Carter says: ‘It is increasingly apparent the health of your mouth can help identify current or potential problems with your health.
‘Taking care of your oral health takes on more and more significance every time a link to the state of overall health is made. In this instance, paying regular visits to the dentist, as often as they recommend, could help the dental team monitor any pain or discomfort you may have experienced.
‘Taking care of your oral health can also help prevent problems. Brushing alone will not suffice; by cutting down on how often you have sugary foods and drinks, by brushing your teeth for two minutes twice a day using a fluoride toothpaste as well as visiting the dentist regularly, as often as they recommend, people will have the basis of a good oral health routine to build on.
‘Acute and particularly chronic sinusitis can cause discomfort for the sufferer. In contrast some dental problems such as gum disease manifest in such a way that it’s often painless and can go unnoticed. If you have had persistent bad breath or toothache, it is definitely worth reviewing your current daily oral hygiene routine and looking for ways in which to improve it. In doing so, it could help identify current issues and prevent further health problems from developing.’