How Elevation Affects Teeth

sunset over plateau

Do you feel like you’re more prone to toothaches when you hike? You’re not imagining things; different altitudes can have varying effects on the way you feel pain. So what exactly causes this pain?

When and How Elevation Affects Teeth

Strenuous hikes are not the only time that you can feel a toothache coming on. When your body experiences any change in atmospheric pressure, be it from flying on a plane or scuba diving in the ocean, it can sense pain differently. A formal name for this condition is barodontalgia, but many people refer to it as “tooth squeeze.” But this pain doesn’t—and shouldn’t—happen to everyone, and it often signals to other issues that may be going on with your teeth.

Why Does Elevation Cause Toothaches?

In many cases, barodontalgia is triggered by pre-existing conditions. Sometimes air pockets develop under fillings or root canals, which can get painful when going through a change in atmospheric pressure. Sometimes fillings can even dislodge in different altitudes!

Another reason why elevation can cause toothaches is because you already have some form of tooth decay, infection, or abscess. While the pain you feel in changing atmospheric pressure isn’t so comfortable to bear, it can be very helpful in detecting air pockets that you didn’t even know were trapped under your teeth.

Remember, even if the pain subsides when you’re back on solid ground, that doesn’t mean that there can’t be an underlying issue with your teeth.

Prevention & Treatment Options

In order to avoid these toothaches altogether, it is very important that you maintain good oral health by brushing and flossing at least twice per day and scheduling frequent dental visits. If you’re experiencing discomfort or pain in higher altitudes, you should consult a dentist to figure out if there is a reason behind the air pockets in your teeth. Think you may have an underlying issue with your teeth or just want to come in for a routine cleaning? Schedule an appointment with us! The staff at Las Cruces Dental Solutions is here to help you have your best smile.

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