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Getting Ready to Fly? Do This First

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Have you ever experienced tooth sensitivity or pain on an airplane? While this can be unsettling, it is not uncommon. Many people experience pain in their teeth as the plane takes off and ascends into the air. While the situation is common, that doesn't mean you shouldn't address it with Dr. Warren or Dr. Hagerman - especially before boarding a plane this year bound for summer vacation destinations.

Why Does Flying Cause Tooth Pain?

Flying can cause tooth pain, or aerodontalgia, because pressure changes caused by increased altitude affect all of your teeth. You can also experience tooth pain while flying as a result of sinus pressure. This type of pain typically presents in the upper teeth (both front and back). However, if you're experiencing pain in teeth with which you've had problems, such as cavities, injuries or root canals, it could mean something more serious is going on.

How to Manage Tooth Pain While Flying

Before you go. If you've experienced tooth pain before on an airplane or you're struggling with some tooth pain before even flying, come in and see us. You will be much more comfortable and less anxious about having pain if we can take care of any possible issues before flying.

Consider calling your dentist before heading out if you've had a history of tooth problems such as:

  • Cracks
  • Cavities
  • Fillings
  • Crowns or other restorations
  • Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJD)
  • Recent extractions
  • Gum disease
  • Sensitive teeth

Pack pain relievers. If you've had pain before caused by altitude changes or sinus pressure, we suggest that you pack some pain relievers for your trip. Take some medication about 30 minutes in advance of your flight to stay comfortable while in the air.

Avoid triggers. If you've experienced in-flight tooth pain, you know your teeth could be extra sensitive during this time. We recommend that you avoid cold beverages and foods, as well as acidic or sugary drinks. Instead, we suggest that you stick with water (no ice) until your teeth feel better.

Know when to seek help. If you experience tooth pain during your flight that does not let up or gets worse, or if you have the signs of a dental abscess, you should call a dentist at your destination. Be sure to tell him or her about your history of tooth pain, and let Dr. Warren and Dr. Hagerman also know about your situation as soon as possible.

We hope you have the best vacation ever this summer, and encourage you to stop in and see us before you go! Schedule your checkup today by calling 623-748-5162.

Don't Delay, Call a Dentist Today

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