Tooth-Related (Odontogenic) Sinusitis

Odontogenic sinusitis (ODS) is an underrecognized type of sinusitis in which the teeth play a role in sinus problems. The Division of Rhinology at Henry Ford Health leads our research of this condition. 

What is odontogenic sinusitis (ODS)?

In the mouth, molars or premolars sit below the maxillary sinuses in the cheekbones. Inflammation or infection in the teeth or gums can spread into the sinuses. 

ODS causes

Odontogenic sinusitis has many causes, including:

  • Buildup of inflamed gum tissue (granuloma)
  • Cyst near the infected tooth 
  • Dislodged tooth 
  • Dental implant
  • Gum disease (periodontitis)
  • Leftover material from a root canal Pus-filled growth (abscess)

Odontogenic sinusitis symptoms and care

Symptoms of ODS include a foul smell and facial pain or pressure on the side of the inflamed gum or infected tooth. An endoscopic nasal exam may also find pus in the middle sinus passageway.  

Certain bacteria show up in odontogenic sinusitis. Your doctor will take cultures from your sinuses to test for these bacteria. A CT scan (special type of X-ray) of the sinus cavities can confirm the diagnosis. Treatment options range from antibiotics to sinus surgery, depending on the severity of the infection. 

Tooth-related sinusitis is an ongoing area of study. Learn more in this video.

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