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Tooth Ache When Flying

Have you ever noticed pain in your ears when flying?  Due to the change in pressure throughout the flight you may experience some aerodontalgia which is a pain in the tooth caused by a change in ambient pressure but usually ceases at ground level.

You should only encounter pain in problem teeth, bringing your attention perhaps for a first time to a pre-existing issue.  If you are feeling discomfort all across your upper back teeth, it may be due to sinus pressure rather than a localised tooth issue.

Ideally if you have been struggling with some tooth pain, try to have dental treatment required before flying to deal with any cracks or cavities apparent, which is often the cause of discomfort when flying.

Seek dental care urgently if you notice any signs of infection before or after flying, which are swelling, redness, or an unpleasant taste.

Sources of Tooth Ache

Tooth decay

Often a cavity that has not been noticeable, but could be diagnosed during an examination is the cause of pain when flying.

Cracked teeth or restorations

Air can enter the cracks and expand as you gain altitude, causing some pressure-related pain during your flight.

Sensitive teeth

If you have sensitive teeth from causes such as erosion or recession pain, it may increase when flying.

Recent dental work

Following treatment, if your teeth are still feeling sensitive, you may struggle with some discomfort while flying.  Consult our dentist about your flight before departing if possible.

Managing Tooth Ache During a Flight

Take some pain medication as soon as possible which will often take up to an hour to work.

Have water rather than hot, cold or sugary drinks that will exacerbate symptoms.

It’s important to note that healthy teeth shouldn’t become sensitive because of altitude changes.  So, if have experienced any pain in your teeth while flying, even if it disappears once you have landed, give our dentist a call to check and identify the cause of the problem.  It is vital to identify the problem early before it becomes a costlier problem to treat, and to prevent you from experiencing further pain.