- Dr. Christa O'Leary
Sinus and Dental Health in the Hill Country
If you live in the Texas Hill Country, sinus problems are inevitable. When sinuses get inflamed or blocked, it can make your life miserable and keep you from living life to the fullest. The good news is that sinus and dental health can be taken care of through a few simple steps. We will talk about how sinusitis occurs, what causes it, and what you can do to prevent or alleviate sinus symptoms.
What is Sinusitis?
Sinusitis causes sinuses to become inflamed or blocked, which can lead to chronic sinus infections. The sinuses are air cavities that line the nose and spread into our cheekbones, forehead, cheeks and jaws. When these cavities get congested with mucus and other particles from breathing in dust, smoke or pollen, sinusitis can result.
Some of the most common symptoms for sinus infections are nasal congestion, postnasal drip and a chronic cough as well as pain around the sinuses or in the ears, teeth, forehead and cheeks (especially on one side of your face). Adults with sinus problems experience these symptoms about three times more often than children.
What Causes Sinusitis?
Sinusitis is a multi-factorial condition, meaning that it can have more than one cause at the same time. Some of the most common causes are sinus infections from bacteria or fungi (the sinuses become blocked by these organisms), allergic reactions to airborne particles such as pollen and dust, sinusitis from prolonged exposure to dry air and sinus infections that are triggered by common colds.
What Can Be Done for My Sinuses?
There are many things you can do to prevent sinus problems or alleviate the symptoms of them once they occur. You should avoid smoking cigarettes or other tobacco products as well as picking your nose, because both of these activities can cause sinus problems. You should also try to avoid contact with airborne particles by using air filters in your home, car or office. If you do find yourself suffering from sinusitis symptoms (or if someone around you is), there are plenty of over-the-counter sinus remedies available. Just make sure you consult with a doctor before taking any medication, as some sinus medications can have adverse effects on people who are allergic to ibuprofen and acetaminophen.
Why Does My Dental Health Matter?
Many sinus problems can be traced back to your teeth and mouth. That is why you should always brush twice a day, floss regularly and see a dentist on or before every six-month checkup. If dental plaque builds up in your mouth, it could lead to cavities that will only get worse over time if they are not treated. Gum disease can also lead to sinuses becoming inflamed or blocked, so it is important that you brush your teeth and gums twice a day and see a dentist on or before every six-month checkup, too.
Is There Anything Else I Should Know About Sinusitis?
Yes! If you experience chronic sinusitis, it is important that you see a doctor. Sinusitis can be caused by sinus cancer as well as other serious conditions and if left untreated for too long, sinuses may require surgery. While there are several surgical options for chronic sinusitis available, a commonly performed one if you live in the Hill Country area is known as a Balloon Sinuplasty. This is a simple outpatient procedure that involves the sinus surgeon inserting a balloon into your nose and inflating it to widen out sinuses. The sinuses heal themselves over time, as they are not cut open or damaged in any way during Balloon Sinuplasty surgery. But make sure you take care of your sinuses with a good saline nasal rinse and stay on top of any allergy medication to keep from getting inflamed again.
Healthy Remedies for Sinusitis
- Drink tea or hot water to moisten sinuses
- Use a humidifier and steam for relief in the winter
- Eat foods with high Vitamin C content, such as oranges, grapefruits and strawberries
- Avoid sinusitis triggers, like cigarette smoke and dust mites.
Sinusitis is a common condition for adults in the Texas Hill Country. It could be triggered by sinus infections, allergies or dry air and some of the most common symptoms are nasal congestion, postnasal drip, chronic cough and pain around the sinuses or in teeth (especially on one side). There are many remedies available to help you feel better like sinus medications, saline nasal rinse and avoiding sinusitis triggers. Make sure you contact a doctor if sinusitis persists for more than two weeks or is associated with fever, pus from the nose, facial pain or toothache on one side of your mouth only (these could be signs of sinus cancer). For more information, give us a call at (830) 992-3042