Maxillary sinusitis due to dental causes is usually secondary to periodontal disease or periapical infection and is commonly associated with mucosal thickening of the floor of the maxillary antrum. Computed tomography (CT) is currently the modality of choice for evaluating the extent of disease and any predisposing factors in patients with symptoms of chronic maxillary sinusitis, but it is unable to diagnose dental disease reliably. The presence of restorative dentistry is, however, easily seen at CT and is associated with both periapical and periodontal disease. We aimed to determine whether its presence at CT may predispose to maxillary sinusitis, and in particular to focal mucosal thickening of the sinus floor characteristic of dental origin.
Three hundred and thirty maxillary sinus CT images in 165 patients were reviewed for the presence of restorative dentistry in the adjacent teeth, focal maxillary sinus floor mucosal thickening, any maxillary sinus disease (including complete opacification, air fluid levels, diffuse mucosal thickening, focal mucosal thickening) and evidence of a rhinogenic aetiology (osteomeatal complex pathology, mucosal thickening in other sinuses).
One hundred and ninety two sinuses adjacent to restorative dentistry and 178 sinuses not adjacent to restorative dentistry were analysed. Focal floor thickening both with, and without, evidence of a rhinogenic aetiology, was significantly more common adjacent to restorative dentistry. Maxillary sinus disease overall was no more common adjacent to restorative dentistry.
This work demonstrated that the presence of restorative dentistry predisposes to focal mucosal thickening in the floor of the maxillary sinus and its presence should prompt clinical and radiographical assessment to exclude dental disease as a source of chronic maxillary sinusitis.