Why do our teeth hurt on the plane?

Dra. Guillem
Specialist in Endodontics and Dental Aesthetics

Suffering a slight toothache when travelling by plane can be something normal. It is the annoyance produced by a change in environmental pressure and occurs because the dental pulp (a tissue innervated and surrounded by hard and not flexible dentine walls) cannot adapt to the rapid increase or rapid decrease of environmental pressure.

The incidence of this disease seems to be increasing but this is because we travel more and more and practice more sports such as diving, mountaineering, parachuting, etc. … which involve changes in pressure. Anyway, this sensation does not usually affect healthy teeth but those with caries, pulp pathology or some previous defect of restoration. When these cases occur, the pain appears abruptly and can be very intense. Our recommendation is that if you have continuous or intermittent pain in your teeth you should consult the dentist. Keep in mind that a dental defect, or restoration, can trap air and lead to an annoying toothache caused by the contraction caused by changes in pressure.

This is called “barodontology”. In fact, the first sign that a tooth is fractured or damaged can come with pain to a pressure change. Therefore, as always, it is recommended to go to periodic reviews to avoid major problems.

Categorised in: