By Gary M. White, MD

Dental Sinus

A dental sinus is a skin lesion on the face that is the outer connection of a sinus tract that begins at the apical portion of a diseased tooth. Eighty percent of the cases involve a mandibular tooth and 20% a maxillary tooth. Intraoral openings are also possible.


The lesion tends to be a solitary, funnel-shaped depression of the skin with a crust or granulation tissue at the base. It may drain spontaneously. Bimanual palpation may express drainage as well. If the infection is chronic and low-grade in nature, the patient may deny dental symptoms. If the diagnosis is suspected, but panoramic x-rays are negative, intraoral (apical) x-rays are more sensitive.


Intervention by a dentist is mandatory.

Additional Pictures

Dental Sinus


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