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Maxillary Sinus Infection

Maxillary sinus infection or maxillary sinusitis is a sinus infection which affects the maxillary sinus that is located in the upper jaw area and behind the cheekbones.

Where are the Maxillary sinuses located?

The sinuses are made up of several pairs of matching right and left sinuses, such as the frontal, ethmoid, sphenoid and maxillary sinus cavities. The maxillary sinuses are the largest of the paranasal sinuses.

These are located within the areas of the upper jaws, below the eye sockets and behind the cheekbone. The drainage of the mucus from the maxillary sinus is through an opening called the ostium. Any obstruction to the mucus flow from the maxillary sinuses may cause a sinus infection. Amongst the other sinuses, maxillary sinus infection is most common.

Common Causes of Maxillary Sinus Infection

Besides the common causes of sinus infection arising from a nasal infection from an episode of common cold or viral influenza, maxillary sinusitis could result from a dental origin. Very often this type of sinus infection is caused or worsened by dental infection of the gums or teeth.

For this reason, dental health and regular checkups are an important part of diagnosing and treating maxillary sinus infection. Another common cause of maxillary sinus infection lies in the unfinished treatment of acute sinus infection.

Sometimes acute sinus infections are only partially treated, leaving other deeper areas to worsen undetected. For example, a particularly bad case of sinus infection may be treated with the usual antibiotics and seem to go away, when in reality only the outermost nasal cavities were cleared of infection.

In this way, some maxillary sinus infections are the results of partially treated or chronically embedded sinus infection.

There could also be anatomical causes of maxillary sinusitis as follows:

1. A deviated septum. The septum is the membranous ridge of soft bones in the nose that separates the nasal cavity into the two nostrils. Normally, the septum lies centrally resulting in the nasal passages being symmetrical. A deviated septum is an abnormal condition in which the ridge leans to the left or the right, causing obstruction of the affected nasal passage. This results in poor ventilation and drainage of the sinuses.

2. Enlarged turbinates. If the turbinates are abnormally large, they tend to obstruct ventilation of the paranasal sinuses and mucus drainage. This is a major cause of most sinus infections.

Maxillary Sinus Infection and Oral Health

Oral health can be a contributing factor in sinus infections of the maxillary sinuses. Though this is not that common, we tend to forget how close the sinus cavities are to the mouth and teeth.

Even small oral infections or cavities can contribute to maxillary sinus infection. For this reason it’s important to have a dental exam performed when exploring all possible contributing factors to maxillary type sinus infections.

Sometimes maxillary sinus infections are not related to dental infection, but are merely bacterial infection that is more deeply entrenched within the sinuses.

When dealing with maxillary sinus infection, treating the accompanying symptoms of inflammation, congestion and the important factor of aiding drainage each become even more critical. This is because, except for sinus infection antibiotics treatment, the site of maxillary sinus infection can be hard to reach and surrounded by swollen tissue.

Dental Causes of Maxillary Sinus Infection

Dental sources of maxillary sinusitis are often overlooked by general practitioners accustomed to finding bacterial infection and allergies at the root of sinus infection.

If you have been suffering from chronic maxillary sinus infection, and have explored various avenues of treatment with little result, make sure that a thorough dental exam is one of the possibilities explored. Usually, the telling of sinus symptoms of a maxillary sinus infection is foul-smelling yellowish green mucus discharge from the nasal passages and tooth ache from the molars of the upper jaw.

Fungal Maxillary Sinus Infection

If you feel that environmental fungus may be a factor in your health, there are many kits available for testing suspicious fungal substances in your home. Better yet, have your home inspected by a trained professional. This is the best way to document environmental health factors like mold.

While this type of sinus infection is rare, many cases of fungal sinus infection occur in the maxillary sinus cavities and involve the Aspergillus fungus. Fungal sinus infections are commonly caused by the fungus Aspergillus. Most common in environmentally produced Aspergillus-related fungus is Aspergillus furnigatus.

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