Woodbridge, VA

Sinus Pressure vs. Toothache

 Any type of tooth pain can be unbearable, just ask your dentist in Woodbridge. We’re all too familiar with toothaches and will do everything we can to help alleviate the pain. However, sometimes tooth troubles aren’t the actual cause of tooth pain. In fact, sometimes a toothache may be a sign of sinus pressure or a sinus infection, and it’s important to know the difference. 

Where Are The Sinuses?

Before we can dive into whether or not a toothache is a result of a sinus problem or an actual issue with your teeth, we need to look at where the sinuses are located and how tooth pain can result from either a tooth problem or a sinus problem. The sinuses are located throughout the face, and any inflammation in them can affect the eyes, forehead, nose, cheeks, or teeth. 

Sinus Infections & Tooth Pain

Pain in the teeth is often a side effect of a sinus infection. But this pain is usually localized to the back molars and doesn’t spread to other teeth. Keep in mind that the jaw can also be affected during a sinus infection, but it can also be a sign of other problems, including a misaligned bite or other tooth troubles. Keep an eye out for the differences between tooth pain caused by a sinus infection versus tooth pain caused by a dental problem. Some signs of a sinus infection include: 

  • Pressure in the nose, eyes, or forehead
  • Bad breath
  • Sore throat
  • Post-nasal drip
  • Thick mucus

Toothache Symptoms

There are some telltale signs of a toothache that results from a problem with the actual teeth as opposed to a sinus infection. Some of the symptoms of a toothache that requires treatment from your dentist in Woodbridge sooner rather than later include:

  • Sensitivity to hot and cold drinks and foods
  • Pain that moves throughout the mouth
  • Swollen or painful gums
  • Throbbing or sharp pain
  • Pain when chewing

When Should You See a Dentist for Tooth Pain?

Usually, any type of tooth pain should warrant a visit to your dentist in Woodbridge sooner rather than later. And if you’re in doubt about what’s causing your pain, it’s best to schedule an appointment. Some key signs that you should call your dentist include: 

  • Any mouth pain that lasts longer than two weeks
  • Bleeding when brushing or flossing your teeth
  • Zaps of pain when teeth are exposed to something hot or cold
  • Bad breath that doesn’t go away

If you’re not sure if you have a sinus infection that’s causing tooth pain or an acutal problem with your teeth, it’s always wise to contact your dentist when any discomfort in your mouth is apparent. We’ll do everything we can to find the source of your pain and work with you to find the best solution. 

5 Damaging Dental Trends on Social Media

social media 2The internet is full of great information, but it can be difficult to tell the difference between wise advice and dangerous trends. This is particularly true when it comes to health tips and dental tricks. However, your dentist in Woodbridge wants to warn you that there has been a rise in social media trends that can directly damage dental health. 

DIY Dentistry Dangers

Taking a do-it-yourself approach to anything involving your oral health is concerning. But when thousands of social media stars showcase their at-home dental care to millions of people, some patients are bound to try these techniques. Here are five of the most damaging DIY dental trends on social media. 

  • Whitening

We understand that having a bright, white smile is desirable, and there are many ways your dentist in Woodbridge can help whiten your teeth. However, some trends online claim that different concoctions of household products can whiten teeth quickly. The problem is that these mixtures usually contain very acidic ingredients that can easily weaken tooth enamel, make it easy for cavities to form, and can even cause teeth to appear darker. The other problem? They don’t work. 

  • Orthodontics

Even before the days of social media, teenagers would put items in their mouths to mimic the look of braces. This still happens, but it’s been taken one step further. Social media influencers are often seen using everyday items to try and close gaps in their teeth or straighten overlapping teeth. Not only can moving teeth on your own cause major alignment problems and issues with your bite, but some of the materials used can also restrict blood flow, causing teeth to die and potentially fall out. 

  • Filing Teeth

One of the most widespread trends currently shows users filing down their teeth into tiny points, also known as the “veneers check” trend. The idea is that filing the teeth down will prepare them for veneers. Not only does this trend make us cringe, but it’s also incredibly dangerous. First, veneer prep from your dentist in Woodbridge does not require filing down teeth this way. Second, filing healthy, natural teeth can cause permanent damage and require professional treatment such as dentures. 

  • Prosthetic Teeth

If you’re missing a tooth and decide to have it replaced with a dental implant, your dentist will also custom-create a crown (the white part of the tooth) to complete your smile. However, social media trends showcase very popular videos of patients creating their own prosthetic teeth or sometimes even partial dentures using arts and crafts supplies. 

  • Gluing Fangs

With Halloween right around the corner, it won’t be surprising to see a few ghosts, goblins, ghouls, and vampires around. But usually, these are found in decorations or costumes. Yet there is a concerning trend of using very strong, permanent (and toxic!) glue to attach vampire fangs to teeth. 

We can’t stress enough how dangerous these trends are. If you’re unhappy with your smile and want to change something about the way your teeth look, always start by talking with your dentist in Woodbridge about your options.  

How Does COVID-19 Affect Oral Health?

Masked Mona Lisa

By now, we’ve all heard of the term “COVID long-hauler,” which is used to describe patients who have recovered from COVID-19 but still experience some long-term side effects. However, did you know that your dentist in Woodbridge is also seeing a slew of oral health complications in both adults and children who have contracted and recovered from COVID-19?

Taste & Smell

Perhaps the most well-known symptom of a COVID-19 infection is the loss of taste or smell. While this doesn’t happen to everyone, it is a fairly common side effect. There is still some debate about why this happens. One of the potential explanations is that since COVID is a respiratory virus, and the respiratory system includes the nose and the mouth, the cells included in these areas can be infected and cause inflammation. In turn, this inflammation can change a person’s ability to smell and taste. More research is needed to conclusively determine the cause, but this is a current working theory. 


Medical researchers who continue to study COVID-19 suggest that the infection damages blood vessels in the body, including in the mouth. According to The Angiogenesis Foundation, when blood vessels are damaged, it prevents oxygen from being delivered throughout the body and can basically starve the tissue. If this happens in the gums, the result can be ulcers. Additionally, a study published in the Journal of Dental Research found that over 80% of patients that were hospitalized with COVID-19 noticed lesions or ulcers in their mouths. While most ulcers should go away and heal on their own as you get better, if an ulcer lasts longer than two weeks (and you’re feeling better and testing negative), you should see your dentist in Woodbridge.

Dry Mouth

Dry mouth is one of those things that doesn’t just affect COVID-19 patients. In fact, dry mouth can be caused by numerous things such as medication, smoking, dehydration, and some diseases. However, COVID-19 patients and “long-haulers” tend to experience new or worsening dry mouths. The virus that causes COVID-19 can affect the salivary glands and reduce their ability to produce enough saliva. Without saliva, we’re left with the feeling of a dry, desert-like mouth as well as an increased risk for developing cavities, gum disease, and other oral health problems. Your dentist in Woodbridge can often help relieve the symptoms of dry mouth, so make sure to mention this at your next appointment. 

Gum Inflammation

We previously mentioned how infection can cause inflammation in the blood vessels but inflammation can also occur in other areas throughout the body. Brought on by a surge of white-blood-cell-rich blood to the infected areas, inflammation in the mouth, particularly the gums, can result in red, painful, swollen, and oftentimes bleeding gums. These symptoms may resolve on their own, but you should monitor recovery at home and schedule an appointment with your dentist in Woodbridge if you notice changes or if it’s not getting better. Red, swollen gums that tend to bleed can also be a sign of gum disease, which can be serious. So it’s better to get checked out sooner rather than later. 

The prevalence of COVID-19 continues to be challenging. During these times, and all times, we encourage our patients to do everything they can to keep themselves and their teeth healthy, including brushing and flossing daily and maintaining routine dental checkups.

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