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Ear, Nose, and Throat Disorders

Swollen painful roof of mouth

05/19/2009

Question:

I had a cold and congestion 2 weeks ago that felt much better around 6 days ago. I then got a really sore throat on the left side mostly when I swallowed something. Felt like a canker sore was there but I couldn`t really see anything. I no longer have the sore throat but 2 days ago started having facial pain to the left of my nose. Last night I had severe pain in the roof of my mouth when my tongue touched it and there was swelling. It to the left of the middle and the pain goes to my face and gives me a headache. The swelling and pain have both gotten worse since. My dentist looked this morning and said she didn`t htink it is a tooth. Could it be sinus related?

Answer:

Yes, it could be a sinus infection.  A cold will cause congestion in the nose which can in turn obstruct the normal outflow path for the maxillary sinus, the sinus cavity located in your cheek.  This can lead to a bacterial infection that will be associated with pain in the cheek, pressure, and often pain when touching the upper teeth or roof of the mouth.  I suggest further consultation with an ENT physician, who will likely prescribe an appropriate course of antibiotics. 

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Response by:

Allen M Seiden, MD Allen M Seiden, MD
Professor of Otolaryngology, Director of Division of Rhinology and Sinus Disorders, Director of University Taste and Smell Center, Director of University Sinus and Allergy
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati