Pain in your cheekbones and teeth is a common symptom of a sinus infection, but dental issues, nerve disorders, and coronary artery disease can also cause it.
Pain in your cheekbones and teeth can range from a dull ache to throbbing pain. Pain can be acute and resolve on its own, or gradually worsen over time.
Determining the exact cause of cheekbone pain or pain in your teeth can be challenging. Here are a few common causes as well as recommended remedies for pain relief.
A sinus infection, also called sinusitis, is inflammation or swelling in your sinus tissue. This is the air-filled cavity located near your nose.
You have four paranasal sinuses, with the largest of your sinuses (the maxillary sinus) located in your jaw near your cheekbones.
Inflamed sinus tissue causes different symptoms like:
Pain and discomfort can also spread to your teeth.
Bacteria in your mouth due to improper dental hygiene can cause a tooth abscess. This is an infection that affects teeth, gums, and bones, but can spread to your cheekbones and surrounding tissue if left untreated.
An abscess also increases the risk of osteomyelitis. This is an infection that spreads to your bone, such as your jawbone. Symptoms of this infection include:
Your temporomandibular joint connects your jawbone to your skull. It acts as a hinge, allowing your jaw to move in different directions.
A nerve disorder like trigeminal neuralgia can also trigger cheekbone pain and pain in your teeth.
The trigeminal nerve provides feeling to your face. Pressure on this nerve can cause pain in your jaw, teeth, or cheeks.
The exact cause of the compression isn’t understood, but certain actions might trigger this disorder:
- brushing your teeth
- head movements
A common cause of a toothache is tooth decay or a cavity. This is when holes develop in the hard surface of a tooth. A toothache can be a dull ache or sharp pain. You might also have:
Other dental problems can cause a toothache, too, such as:
Keep in mind that it’s not uncommon to have cheekbone pain and pain in your teeth after a dental procedure. This includes pain after:
Cheek and teeth soreness is normal. But call a dentist if swelling or pain continues or worsens after 3 days.
Teeth grinding (bruxism) is another cause of cheekbone and teeth pain.
Teeth grinding often happens during sleep, so you might be unaware of this problem. But prolonged grinding can cause:
- facial pain
- disrupted sleep
- broken teeth
- pain in the temporomandibular joint
Periodontal disease, or gum disease, destroys the soft tissue in your mouth as well as your bones that support your teeth. This condition is often due to improper dental hygiene.
If left untreated, a severe infection can cause tooth loss. The infection can also spread to other parts of your body and is thought to increase your risk of conditions like heart disease. Research is still ongoing regarding the link between gum disease and heart disease, so the exact link is still unclear.
Coronary artery disease is often associated with chest pain, shortness of breath, and lightheadedness. But it can also manifest as facial pain and discomfort in the jaw, cheek, and neck.
Risk factors for coronary artery disease include:
- having overweight
- lack of physical activity
- improper nutrition
Complications of coronary artery disease can include:
Depending on the underlying cause of cheekbone and teeth pain, the following home remedies might help relieve discomfort:
- Take an over-the-counter medication to relieve sinus pressure and congestion.
- Avoid hot or cold foods and drinks to reduce sensitivity in your teeth.
- Apply a cold compress to your cheekbones to ease inflammation and swelling.
- Eat soft foods or liquids, such as soup or cooked vegetables.
- Avoid certain jaw movementsuntil pain stops, such as chewing gum or wide yawning.
- Practice stress-relieving techniques to relax your jaw muscles and relieve symptoms of TMJ and teeth grinding.
- Use a mouthguardat night to stop grinding your teeth.
Call a doctor if you have severe cheekbone pain or pain in your teeth. Worsening pain could indicate conditions that need to be treated as soon as possible to prevent further complications, such as:
- dental cavities
- periodontal disease
- nerve damage
If left untreated, an infection can advance and enter your bloodstream. Symptoms of infection include:
- sharp pain
- discharge from your mouth
Call a doctor if you have facial pain after a trauma, such as falling or getting hit in your face.
Seek emergency treatment if you have symptoms of coronary artery disease, including:
- chest pain
- discomfort in your arms
- shortness of breath
Your doctor can complete testing to diagnose or rule out heart conditions.
If you have a sinus infection or a tooth infection, you will likely need antibiotics to treat the infection.
A doctor or dentist might also recommend a dental procedure depending on the underlying cause of pain in your teeth. This can include:
- removal of your wisdom teeth or a damaged tooth
- dental filling
- root canal or other procedure to repair a badly damaged tooth
A severe dental infection might require surgery to remove damaged gum tissue and bone.
Coronary artery disease may require medications, changes to your diet or exercise, or surgeries to help improve your heart function by reducing plaque buildup in your arteries.
Pain in your cheekbones and teeth isn’t always serious, and pain might improve on its own with self-care.
But some causes of pain require medical attention. Call a doctor or dentist if you have severe discomfort, worsening of symptoms, or symptoms of an infection.