How Flying Can Affect Your Oral Health


Did you know the combination of having a toothache and flying can really be a problem? What happens on airplanes is that the atmospheric pressure changes constantly, depending on what the pilot is trying to avoid or trying to get in line with (whether it’s a great jet stream opportunity or a nasty section of uncomfortable turbulence).

During takeoff and landing, the atmospheric pressure will change dramatically, and all of these changes can wreak havoc on your ears, your nose, and, you guessed it, your mouth! You are probably familiar with how your ears start to pop on the airplane, but did you know the changes in pressure that cause your ears to pop can bring about a serious toothache?

This is a common phenomenon that is even part of a branch of dentistry you’ve likely never heard of: Aviation dentistry! Common dental problems you may experience while you’re in the air include:


This dental pain is usually exacerbated by atmospheric pressure changes and it is present with pre-existing oral disease. It usually feels like a very sharp pain and can be very localized.


This fun name has also been called barometric tooth explosion! If you have leaky restorations, dislodged crowns or recurring cavities, then changes in atmospheric pressure will cause a literal small explosion of gas that is trapped!

Preventing Toothache While Flying

Toothaches while flying can be painful, but they can also become persistent and problematic. If you have a toothache before you fly, getting on the plane will make it worse, so its best to try to resolve oral health issues before you board a plane.

If you suddenly experience tooth pain while flying, try gently sucking on candy or even chewing gum. The best plan of action, though, is to visit your dentist before any air travel.

Do you have any trips planned in the near future? Come see us as Las Cruces Dental Solutions to discuss any tooth pain or oral health problems you’re experiencing. We care about the health of our patients, and we are here to make sure you have a healthy and pain-free flight!

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