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I Keep Getting A Toothache On Airplanes! What Does This Mean?

If you’ve recently been on an airplane and your tooth started to hurt, you may be panicking. Why did your tooth start to hurt? Does this mean something is seriously wrong with your mouth? Does this happen to other people?

In this blog from the office of Brett Blacher, DDS, we’ll take a look at everything you need to know about toothaches on airplanes. Let’s get started now. 

a woman on the plane holding her mouth in pain

Why Am I Getting A Toothache While Flying On Airplanes?

Getting a toothache while flying on an airplane is actually much more common than you think. Why does it happen? Basically, a toothache on an airplane happens because of changes in air pressure.

You see, airplanes usually fly at a height of about 30,000 feet. The air this high is too thin for people to breathe, so planes are pressurized to ensure that passengers can breathe comfortably, usually to an air pressure equivalent to being 6,000-8,000 feet above sea level.

This is why you can get a toothache on an airplane. Air becomes thinner and expands slightly at higher elevations. This is why your ears “pop” when you rise. They are responding to this pressure change.

A toothache happens for the same reason. If a bubble of air is trapped in your tooth, it will try to expand. When this happens, it may put pressure on the nerves of your tooth, causing a toothache. 

What Are My Options For Treatment?

It’s important to note that you will not ever get a toothache on an airplane if your teeth are healthy. This is because, in a healthy tooth, there are no holes, pits or other imperfections where air can become trapped.

Usually, you will get a toothache on an airplane only if you have an untreated cavity, or if you have an old, loose piece of dental work like a filling or crown that allows a pocket of air to form within your tooth.

You will need to see a dentist like Dr. Brett Blacher. Tell him about your issue and the affected tooth, and he will be able to take the proper steps to restore your smile, like treating your cavity or creating a new filling or crown to replace a worn-out piece of dental work.

What Should I Do If I Can’t See A Dentist Before My Trip?

If you have an urgent trip coming up and you can’t see a dentist in time for emergency treatment, you can use aspirin, ibuprofen or your preferred pain reliever to help with your discomfort, or use a topical analgesic like Orajel to numb the area.

However, these are only stop-gap solutions. You should get treatment from a dentist as soon as you can. Getting a toothache on an airplane means there’s something wrong with your tooth, so you should seek professional dental care as soon as you can.

Come To Our Office – Get Help For Toothaches On Airplanes!

If you have a flight coming up and you’re worried about getting a toothache, don’t fret. Dr. Brett Blacher is here to help in Lombard. Give us a call at (630) 916-0701 or contact us online to schedule your appointment. Dr. Blacher will examine your mouth, restore your tooth, and make sure you never have to deal with the discomfort of a toothache on an airplane again.

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