You are here:

Oral Surgery/Draining Sinus & Breathlessness


Dear Dr,

Thanking you in advance for reading my post.
I have a draining sinus with the upper left central incisor and the x-ray also showed radiolucency.
Root canal was attempted but the canal is sclerosed and calcified and I have been refered for a apicectomy. Awaiting a date approx 2 months. (details taken from Dentist letter)
I live in the Uk by the way.
I have become more and more concerned as time has passed as around the same time that the infection was detected I developed breathlessness, sinus problems, throat problems and ear infections. The breathlessness is getting worse and my chest cavity feels full of air.  2 dentists have differing opinions 1. that the infection can cause breathlessness and 2. that it cant. I am confused! I have been attending my doctors with the symptoms and apart from detecting a ENT infection and treated with antibiotics, which helped somewhat but returned, he doesnt know what is causing my symptoms.
I am 43 years old, have never in my life suffered from anything ENT related and feel it is a coincidence that those symptoms coincide with the infection. Please also note, that I feel very flu like when the pus spot (draining) rises and falls and also I have also been suffering with lots of cysts around the side and back of my neck and up into my hairline. I have not ever suffered with these before either.
Please can you help me sort out this puzzle as I feel really quite unwell and dont know if it is wise to wait 2 months for my referal to come through.

Kindest regards

Rebecca -  I am so sorry to hear how you have been suffering.  I, of course, cannot be sure without examining you or seeing your xrays, but the upper front teeth do not have contact with or directly drain into the sinus.  If that tooth was infected and draining, besides draining into the mouth, it could drain into the nose.  

What I am saying is that your tooth problem does not sound like the instigator of those sinus and medical problems you describe. The breathlessness, throat problems and ear infections would not be due to an upper front tooth.  So I agree with the dentist who says that an upper front tooth infection will not cause the symptoms you describe.  

The fact that the antibiotics helped reduce the symptoms is more indicative of a sinus condition not related to the tooth.  I would suggest that an ENT doctor examine you.  A regular doctor is not as competent in this type of problem.  I wish you well and hope a knowledgeable physician can help you.

Oral Surgery

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Joel S. Teig, DMD, Diplomate ABOMS, retired


I am a board certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon available to answer questions related to tooth extractions, implant insertion, facial recontruction, facial and oral tumor removal, TMJ dysfunction and various successful treatments, including surgery if all else fails, and occlusal discrepancy requiring orthognathic or jaw surgery.


Board Certified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon practicing for over 20 years. Assistant Clincal Professor at State University School of Dentistry.

American Dental Association, American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons

BA- University of Connecticut DMD-University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine Oral and Maxillofacial Surgical Residency - Roosevelt Hospital, NYC

©2017 All rights reserved.