DOI: 10.1111/ors.12861 ISSN: 1752-2471

Odontogenic sinusitis: A literature review

Michael George, Anthony Noor, Andrew Raymond Darren Scott Thorpe, Niranjan Sritharan, Faruque Riffat
  • Oral Surgery
  • Surgery



To present the most recent evidence about odontogenic sinusitis.

Materials and methods

An electronic search was conducted in MEDLINE via OVID, Embase via OVID and PubMed for odontogenic sinusitis.


Odontogenic sinusitis originates from pathology of the dentition and surrounding structures. This disease differs from sinusitis of other causes in pathophysiology, diagnosis, microbiology and management. Symptoms of unilateral nasal obstruction and purulent discharge are highly suggestive of the disease. Computed tomography is considered the gold standard in assessing the relationship between dental conditions and sinus disease. Failure to eliminate the dental source of infection will often result in treatment failures. Collaboration and multidisciplinary management between dental surgeons and otolaryngologists is imperative for the successful identification and treatment of the disease, as either treatment in isolation may be inadequate leading to poor patient outcomes. Primary dental treatment may be effective in patients with lower sinonasal disease burden and similarly, patients suffering from minimal dental disease may recover from sinus surgery alone. Combined dental and sinus surgery results in disease resolution in 90%–100% of patients; however, controversy remains regarding the optimal sequence of interventions.


This review describes the aetiological, microbiological, clinical findings and diagnostic methods, as well as clinical and patient factors influencing treatment modalities of odontogenic sinusitis. Furthermore, a management decision tree is provided.

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