My teeth hurt to bite on – is it my sinuses?

17th April 2024

One last topic to cover in our “painful to bite on” series is sinus-related pain; it’s less common and sometimes you might not think it’s one for your dentist, but we’re always happy to help and advise.

Infection in your “maxillary sinuses” – the air spaces in the skull below your eyes and above your top teeth, can cause pain from the teeth on biting.

It’s most commonly a problem if you’ve had a heavy cold or are very congested. The pain will usually present as a pressure which affects most or all of your top teeth (on both sides, or just one side if only one sinus is blocked/infected). The teeth will be tender to pressure or if you tap on them. There’s often a tell-tale symptom of worse pain when tipping your head forward (such as to tie a shoelace).

This type of pain on biting doesn’t usually need any dental treatment and will pass once your sinus clears up. You may need decongestants and perhaps even antibiotics if there is severe infection, but it’s certainly worth getting things checked by your dentist to rule out any other dental issues.


Flu. Closeup image of frustrated sick woman with red nose lying in bed in thick scarf holding tissue by her nose and touching her head
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Coppice View Dental Care
104 Kings Road, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, HG1 5HH