If you get toothaches on airplanes, you may be wondering why. Is getting a toothache on an airplane serious? Does it indicate that something is wrong with your tooth? Should you see your dentist? Get all the answers you need in this blog from OG Dental now!
Toothaches on airplanes are caused by air pressure! The same basic process that causes your ears to “pop,” while flying is also responsible for toothaches. Confused? Let’s discuss the details.
Planes usually fly at a height of between 30,000-40,000 feet, where the air is far too thin for us to breathe. Because of this, the cabin is pressurized, but not to sea level (0 feet). Instead, it’s pressurized to an equivalent of about 6,000-8,000 feet.
As air rises and air pressure lessens, it expands slightly and becomes thinner. This is why your ears pop! Your ears are “equalizing” the pressure between the inner ear and outer ear to keep you comfortable.
However, this expansion of air is what causes toothaches on airplanes. When air gets trapped in your tooth, it can put pressure on the nerves below it, causing pain and discomfort.
So, why would expanding air cause your tooth to hurt? Well, in a healthy tooth, it wouldn’t. Healthy teeth do not have any pockets, gaps, or other areas where air can become trapped, expand, and cause pain.
But if your teeth are not healthy, this is not the case. For example, a deep cavity could trap a pocket of air in your tooth, causing a toothache. Or, if your dental crown or filling is pulling away from your tooth and becoming loose, air could be trapped between your tooth and dental work.
If you are experiencing toothaches on airplanes regularly, this is an indicator that something is wrong with your mouth. Your tooth may be damaged or your dental work may be failing, so you should get help from a dentist right away.
Going on a trip soon? Can’t see Dr. Sean O’Grady before your flight? You can use Orajel or another topical numbing agent to help with tooth pain on an airplane. Over-the-counter pain medicine like Aleve or Tylenol can also help.
But don’t wait too long to get treatment. Getting a toothache on an airplane means that something is wrong with your tooth, so you should see a dentist to determine the cause of your issue as soon as you can. Once your tooth has been fixed, you won’t have to worry about getting a toothache on an airplane ever again.
If you get toothaches on airplanes, you can get relief from your pain with dental care at OG Dental. Dr. O’Grady will determine the cause of your issue, restore your tooth, and ensure you can fly pain-free. Contact us online now or give us a call at (720) 551-6580 to schedule an appointment.