Upper wisdom tooth causing Eustachian tube dysfunction and sinus issues on the right ( x-ray )

Mar 18, 2019
Alright, gals and guys, here's my issue:

About 4 months ago, I woke up one morning with a right ear that felt strangely congested. Slight congestion, that I first wrote off as earwax that needed to be removed at a doctor's office. Didn't think too much of it for about a week, then I finally got the ear irrigated, however, the slight congestion still persisted even though the ear canal was completely clean. By that time I had already started suspecting I got a mild form of Eustachian tube dysfunction - the tube, connecting the middle ear with the throat was partially plugged up with mucus and was unable to drain properly. I had not suffered any colds or viral illnesses prior to the day I started feeling this congestion though.

The issue persists up to this day, and is only happening on the right side. When I move my jaw around in a certain way, I can hear crackling and popping inside the ear, as if something sticky is moving around. It's not getting worse, but not getting better either, and for the past 10 or so days I've been having pretty intense postnasal drip on the right side of the back of my throat, with somewhat thick mucus that is slightly salty in taste. Whenever I move my jaw around in order to try and open the Eustachian tube for better drainage, my right maxillary sinus clogs up almost immediately, which makes me believe the sinus itself is somehow affected and when swelling up, it also impairs the drainage of the Eustachian tube. Whenever I swallow forcefully ( this activates the opening of the Eustachian tube ), I can sense thick mucus at the back of my throat and I feel something moving a few centimetres below the ear ( should be my right Eustachian tube ). Can't really say if it's moving up or down, but down would be my guess, since then I can feel that mucus in my throat.

I feel marginally better when walking around and doing any sort of physical activity - sinuses are opened up, and postnasal drip rate is very slim.

Here comes the dental part:

Since this whole issue is unilateral ( one-sided ), is it possible that it's caused by my right upper wisdom tooth? Haven't had that pulled out yet, but is it possible that it's somehow irritating the sinus cavity above the tooth, causing chronic inflammation, which in turn presses on the Eustachian tube, impairing its function? The tooth itself doesn't hurt at all, hasn't hurt before, and the sinus itself or the ear and tube affected are not painful either. The tooth feels slightly painful when I press on it with my finger, but the pain is not severe at all. Is it possible that that tooth is somehow traumatizing the area directly above its roots ( which seems to coincide with the area I am feeling the tube discomfort in )?

I had a panoramic x-ray done of that side of my jaw. Here's the image:


Can someone with sufficient knowledge in reading dental x-rays take a look, and tell me if there's any indication of something in the upper right jaw segment messing with my sinus? I am particularly interested in that long black canal that starts right above the root of the upper wisdom tooth. A fellow dentist told me that's just an artifact, and nothing to worry about. Is that so?

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