Why you may get a toothache during a flight

You may be surprised to know but flying can actually give you a toothache! The reason for this is, when flying, your teeth become extra sensitive and develop a growing pain as your plane begins to rise towards the sky. You may also notice that tooth problem getting aggravated as you start flying and sometimes even teeth that weren’t hurt start giving you flightmares!

The reason why flying gives you a toothache

Flying can cause a toothache due to a variety of reasons. More than often it may be a tooth that was already experiencing issues and the pain just got aggravated or even in rare cases an entirely new tooth that is experiencing pain. Being from a reputed dental office from South Edmonton and having dealt with a variety of weird, sudden pains that our patients run into, on the flight, we know exactly why a toothache can be a more than common phenomenon among flyers.

There are two main reasons for an achy tooth during a flight. One that when you are flying, your body experiences what we call as pressure change with an increase in altitude also called as aerodontalgia. You may also notice pain in your ears or get a headache due to the same reason. While a temporary pain in a problematic tooth due to flying may be normal, your healthy teeth must not experience pain. Also note that although flying may draw your attention to a new issue or can even make a pre-existing issue worsen, it definitely does not affect your overall dental health.

Any dentist in Edmonton like us will tell you that flying will not make your cavities, loose fillings, and gingivitis worsen. The second reason why flying can worsen your toothache is sinus pressure. If you feel pain and discomfort around your upper jaw, chances are that it is because of your sinus that is getting pressurized due to the altitude change.

Tips to manage a flying toothache

Meet your dentist

Of course, visit your local dental office before flying. Preventive measures work better than cure. It is better to get a proper assessment done for your pearlies so that you can minimize the chance of running into a bad toothache during your flight.

A dentist can recommend tooth filling, mouthguard or pain management solutions, depending on how grave your problem is. Ask your dentist about when can you take painkillers and any other safe practices that you need to exercise with that. If you are heading for that big grand meeting, getting a teeth whitening may also not be such a bad idea.

During the flight

If you have visited the dentist before the big flight, make sure to follow their instructions to the T. Manage your timings, meal times and doses carefully. If you have had any treatments such as teeth whitening done, remember that your teeth will be especially sensitive at this time and go easy on carbonated drinks. If you are recovering from an extraction or dental surgery, make sure to carry an extra piece of gauze to handle extra bleeding.

Taking extra precautions before flying

Taking simple extra precautions before and during your flight will ensure comfort for you. Flying is likely to cause air bubbles in your teeth. You may notice a growing pain that changes as per the altitude especially if any of the following conditions describe you:

  • Recent dental surgery
  • Dental filling
  • Realignment of teeth
  • Dental whitening
  • Early tooth decay
  • Extra sensitive teeth

Post-flight check

Once you land and the toothache disappears, chances are you will put it behind and move on. However, dentists recommend getting your teeth checked for dental problems, beginning of cavities or any other issues, especially if you experience sudden pain during flight or at every flight.

Dr. Jason Harvey & Associates, leading family dentist Edmonton, has a full-service dental practice specializing in several dental treatments and surgeries like a root canal, cavity filling, dental whitening etc.

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