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Having pain due to broken tooth. Having headaches and congestion. Pain due tooth or sinus infection or something serious?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2009
Answered : 3041 Questions
I went to the dentist yesterday for a tooth that broke a couple weeks ago and was causing pain but only in my tooth and it wasn't continuous. The tooth that broke is on my upper right side, 3rd one beside my front tooth. Last night I had the worst pain imaginable. My eyes feel sore, all my teeth on my right side (top and bottom) hurt as well as my right ear, jaw, and the glands on the right side of my neck. My neck also feels stiff but I think that is because of the pain I feel in my face. The dentist said the tooth is not abscess but it has broke enough of the tooth to have it extracted. Also, he said the decay goes all the way into my bone. The pain I feel is excruciating and it feels like a lot of pressure. I am also having headaches and congestion. Is all this pain due to one bad tooth, maybe a sinus infection, or something more serious?

Also, if this matters, the pain seems to be more intense in the late afternoon and night. It's not really intolerable during the day.
Posted Thu, 11 Jul 2013 in Dental Health
Answered by Dr. Luchuo Engelbert Bain 1 hour later
Hi and thanks for the query,

The teeth have a very XXXXXXX nerve supply and a mild irritation elsewhere is felt as a very severe pain, when this occurs around the teeth. It is usual for tooth ache pain to be referred to the head, the ears and the neck regions.

there are two main features to be explored in this case. Controlling the pain is fundamental under such circumstances. Analgesics and swelling. It could take a few days, but it becomes bothersome if it persists for weeks. This could imply an abscess that might have formed after or was at early stage during evaluation, infection of the nearby bones (osteomyelitis), spread to other nearby structures like the sinuses and the ear. A forgotten fragment of the broken tooth could also cause residual pain.

It is there fore important to get a complete clinical review by the dentist. Modification of drugs could be sufficient. Exploration of possibilities of infection, as you rightly put it, is a very possible eventuality. I recommend an active search to exclude an abscess or forgotten fragment. An X XXXXXXX might be required to check for a bone infection (osteomyelitis) or sinus infection. A clinical evaluation to check the ears and the throat should be sufficient.

I suggest you book an appointment and XXXXXXX your dentist for review. thanks and best regards as I wish you good health.

Bain LE, MD.
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