Can You Get a Sinus Infection After a Root Canal?

A root canal is already a cause of concern for some patients, especially those who have dental anxiety. Naturally, they want to know that once they're out of the dentist's office, the issue is resolved and there's nothing they should worry about. 

Some patients who have undergone a root canal procedure report symptoms of sinus infections after having their root canal treated. This has been a cause of concern for patients, as they don’t want further complications to an already unpleasant issue. 

In this article, we will clarify what happens after getting a root canal and why some patients are experiencing symptoms related to their sinuses afterward.

What Is a Root Canal?

During a root canal procedure, the dentist has to remove an infection from the root of your tooth, clean it on the inside and fill it with a composite substance. The infection that affects the tooth is removed and the healthy tissue is left intact, and reinforced with artificial composite imitating the structure of the tooth pulp. 

During a root canal, the dentist drills inside the roots of the teeth. If they are working on a tooth that is close to your sinuses, you could experience symptoms that indicate a sinus infection or imitate it. This scenario is most likely when you get a root canal for an upper-back tooth. 

Here are the two scenarios that are most likely to cause sinus infection symptoms after a root canal procedure.

Sinusitis Caused by Tooth Infections

In some cases, the infection in a tooth can spread to the sinuses nearby or the other way around. Some patients have very little space in between the roots of the teeth and their sinuses, sometimes even having the roots poking in the sinus cavity. If there is an infection in the area, it most likely affects both the tooth and sinuses. 

Your root canal may solve the tooth problem, but the sinus infection will have to be treated by an ear, nose, and throat specialist.

Sinus Communication

In other cases, the patient feels as if having a sinus infection, even if they don’t. This is caused by a small perforation in the wall separating the tooth roots from the sinus cavities. Even a slight discomfort to the lining of the sinus can cause symptoms like congestion, pain, runny nose, and post-nasal drip. 

It takes a few days for sinus communication discomfort to go away, as the lining heals. If these symptoms persist and you experience them for more than a week or two, you should go to the doctor to investigate other possible causes. 

Book an Appointment Today

Book an appointment with Dr. Jelani Winslow and his team at Whittier Palm Dental to discuss your root canal procedure and sinus discomfort during a check-up. We will treat your problem or refer you to another specialist if needed. 

Contact us for more information and for scheduling your dental appointment. 

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