Friday, June 23, 2017

Flying or Diving this Summer? Avoid Tooth Squeeze!

Ever have tooth pain during a flight? You may be experiencing barodontalgia, also known as “tooth squeeze”. Tooth squeeze is not itself a dental disease but may indicate a dental problem. When air pressure changes, a cavity, poorly done filling or crown, or even sensitivity, can trigger pain. Pilots and flight crew are vulnerable to this condition but it can happen to anyone. 

Barodontalgia generally occurs on ascent and descent but can also happen during any flight over 5,000 feet in altitude and in pressurized as well as smaller, non-pressurized planes. The pain may persist or go away quickly and the type of pain can help identify the problem. A dull, throbbing pain may indicate a cavity while a sharp, deep pain may indicate the need for a root canal. Pain in the upper, back teeth may even indicate a sinus issue.
Plane - yml 2014

Divers also can experience tooth squeeze. Even dental recession can make a person susceptible. The change in pressure can cause a build-up of air in the tubules of the tooth and in severe cases even crack a tooth. Anyone planning to dive should wait a week after having dental treatment with anesthesia and anyone planning to take a flight in a small non-pressurized plane, should wait at least twenty-four hours before doing so.

If you are experiencing any kind of dental pain, you should see a dental professional right away. Don't ignore it regardless of whether it is persistent or comes and goes. The last thing you want to do while on vacation is end up in a dental chair!

Have a safe and healthy summer.

Source: Open Journal of Dentistry and Oral Medicine 3(2): 35-38, 2015 DOI: 10.13189/ojdom.2015.030201 Barodontalgia: Etiology, Features and Prevention Prajna V. Kini1 , Vinod Rakesh Jathanna2,* , Ramya V. Jathanna3 , Karthik Shetty2

This blog is not intended to treat or diagnose any disease or condition. If you are experiencing a dental or medical issue seek treatment from a dental or medical professional right away.