The Archer Dental Blog

Why Does My Tooth Hurt When I Fly?

June 18, 2024

Understanding Tooth Pain at High Altitudes

When an aircraft ascends or descends, the cabin air pressure changes rapidly. Your body, including the internal air spaces within your teeth, must adapt to these fluctuations. If there's trapped air or gas inside a tooth—perhaps due to decay, a dental filling, or an abscess—it can expand or contract as the external pressure changes. This expansion or contraction can create pressure on the nerve endings inside your tooth, leading to pain. Essentially, the air pressure inside your tooth needs to equalize with the cabin pressure, but when it doesn’t, it results in discomfort.

Tooth pain at high altitudes can be particularly intense if there are pre-existing dental issues. For instance, if you have a cavity or a loose filling, the trapped air might expand more than in a healthy tooth, causing sharp pain. Similarly, if you have an infection or an abscess, the pressure changes can exacerbate the symptoms, leading to increased pain and discomfort. This is why regular dental check-ups are crucial; they can help identify and address any underlying issues before you take to the skies.

Preventing and Managing Tooth Pain While Flying

If you're planning to fly and are concerned about potential tooth pain, there are steps you can take to mitigate the risk. First and foremost, visit your dentist before your trip to ensure your teeth are in good condition. Your dentist can identify and treat any issues that might lead to pain during a flight, such as cavities, loose fillings, or other dental concerns. Addressing these problems beforehand can help prevent discomfort when the cabin pressure changes.

During the flight, staying hydrated can also help. Drinking water promotes saliva production, which can buffer the effects of dry air in the cabin and help reduce the likelihood of discomfort. If you do experience tooth pain, try chewing sugar-free gum. This can help equalize the pressure in your ears and teeth, potentially alleviating some of the pain.

If you're prone to tooth pain when flying, consider over-the-counter pain relief options. However, it's always best to consult with your dentist about appropriate pain management strategies, especially if you have known dental issues.

The Importance of Regular Dental Care

Regular dental care plays a vital role in preventing tooth pain during flights. By maintaining good oral hygiene and visiting your dentist for routine check-ups, you can address potential problems before they become serious issues. This proactive approach not only helps ensure a comfortable travel experience but also contributes to overall oral health.

At Archer Dental, we understand the challenges that come with unexpected tooth pain, especially when you're far from home. If you're planning a trip and have concerns about your dental health, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’re here to provide the care and guidance you need to enjoy your travels without the worry of tooth pain.

Tooth pain during a flight can be a surprising and unpleasant experience, but understanding its causes and taking preventive measures can help you manage it effectively. By staying on top of your dental health and consulting with your dentist before traveling, you can reduce the likelihood of experiencing discomfort at high altitudes. At Archer Dental, we’re committed to helping you maintain a healthy, pain-free smile, whether you’re at home or in the air. If you have any questions or need to schedule a pre-travel check-up, please contact us. Safe travels!

Dental Blog

Read more of our Latest Blog Posts

Oral Health

Does My Dentist Know If I Smoke Weed?

Read More

Oral Health

Is Vaping Bad for Your Oral Health?

Read More

Oral Health

Why Does My Tooth Hurt When I Fly?

Read More

Oral Health

Does My Dentist Know If I Smoke Weed?

Read More

Oral Health

Is Vaping Bad for Your Oral Health?

Read More

Oral Health

Why Does My Tooth Hurt When I Fly?

Read More
Get Started

Ready to book an Appointment?

You're just one step away from making Archer Dental your new dental home! 
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.