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Toothache on an Airplane? What You Need to Know

Dealing with cabin pressure on an airplane is a common issue than many travelers have experienced. We often chew gum or try to yawn during takeoffs and landings to pop our ears and relieve pressure. However, the discomfort that causes pain in a person’s ears or sinuses can also cause pain in your teeth. If you experience toothaches when you travel on an airplane, here’s what you need to know:

Air Trapped in a Filling

Flying can cause toothaches because your body experiences a pressure change with an increase in altitude, a condition known as aerodontalgia. Tooth pain on an airplane is often caused by air getting trapped in a filling. This can happen if your dental work did not completely fill your cavity. Also, older fillings can have microscopic gaps or holes that develop over time and lead to the same trapped air. 

When air gets stuck between your filling and your natural tooth, the rapid change in cabin pressure while on an airplane can cause discomfort and pain. While chewing gum and equalizing can help in other circumstances, air trapped in fillings cannot be remedied the same way. If you deal with toothaches every time you travel, the best way to get to the cause of the issue is to see a dentist for a new filling.  

The Good News

If your teeth are healthy, you won’t notice any pain or discomfort during your flight. And even if you do get a toothache while in the air, it can help to know that altitude will not worsen any dental condition. Flying won’t make conditions like cavities, loose fillings, or gingivitis any worse than they already are, though they may become more painful during the duration of your air travel.

Book Your Appointment Before You Take Off!

If you notice a cavity or suspect that you have a loose filling, come into Carmel Mountain Ranch Dental Care to take care of any issues before your next flight. Getting quality dental work before you travel will give you peace of mind, and it may even save you from an uncomfortable toothache while you travel! You can reach us at (858) 487-6453 or stop by our office at 12075 Carmel Mountain Rd, Suite 210, San Diego, CA 92128.

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