Dr. Tom Westrick. (Contributed)

Column: Chronic one-sided sinus infection could become serious

By Thomas C. Westrick

Have you ever noticed that your sinus infection is primarily just on one side of your face? Have you been on multiple antibiotics for “sinus” only to feel minimally better for sometimes only weeks to a month or two?

Learn how to request your physician or dentist look deeper into a possible cause of this recurring problem.

The roots of the upper teeth many times extend up into the floor of the sinus. If an upper tooth has an
abscess, this pus can readily extend up through the floor of the sinus. The inside of the tooth is filled with bacteria, and until this is cleaned out, or removed with an extraction, the infection will continue.

An antibiotic can’t address the bacteria effectively inside an abscessed tooth because there is no blood
supply left to the inside of the tooth. The antibiotic taken by mouth is distributed throughout the body
through the bloodstream, and if there is no blood supply to the inside of the tooth, these bacteria never see the antibiotic, and they continue to live quite happily.

So, what is the solution? A very high-quality root canal cleans and disinfects, and plugs the root tips from the continual resupply of bacteria on the floor of the sinus. A second option would be extraction to remove the offending tooth.

If you think you might be experiencing the described condition, contact your dentist, or our office,
and schedule x-rays, pulp testing, and an exam of your teeth to investigate further. Multiple rounds of
antibiotics are very unhealthy for your gut flora, and could possibly cause diarrhea that will cause the need for hospitalization.

Thomas C. Westrick, DDS, can be contacted at Central Wisconsin Endodontics, 2329 Main St., Stevens Point, 715-345-7740.