Minimizing Dental Discomfort During A Plane Flight

During the holidays, many people visit relatives that are miles away. For some, a trip to a family gathering includes a plane flight. Although a flight is not something that you might automatically associate with dental discomfort, air transport can cause dental pain. Here are a few reasons why and how to minimize your discomfort.

Pressure Changes 

As the elevation of your plane increases, your body undergoes changes in pressure. In fact, the higher the altitude of the plane, the greater the amount of pressure that you will experience. Initially, you may sense discomfort in your ears. However, if you already have an uncomfortable dental issue prior to the flight, you may also notice an increase in dental pain. Additionally, sinus pressure from the flight may exacerbate oral discomfort because of pressure on the sinus nerves. 

Also, dental work that has recently been performed may result in sensitive teeth that may be more susceptible to uncomfortable changes in pressure. Likewise, forgoing a dental treatment before a flight can cause issues.

Dental fillings that are loose or missing may permit air to enter the area between the filling and the tooth. This air may expand as the pressure within the plane's cabin changes, causing dental pain. Similarly, a tooth that has a crack or an unfilled cavity may present a problem as air enters the open areas of tooth material and expands.

Minimizing Your Discomfort

To minimize your dental discomfort during your trip, it is best to prepare beforehand. If you have a dental issue, be sure to see your dentist before the date of your flight. Routine fillings and other dental services often require little time to complete and can make your flight more comfortable.

Additionally, bring along pain medication to help lessen your discomfort. Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen, may be enough to relieve your pain until your plane is back on the ground. Also, try not to consume foods or drinks that are overly hot or cold during your flight. The extreme temperature of an item can cause pain in sensitive teeth.

Acidic beverages should also be avoided. The acids in sodas and other acidic drinks can dissolve the tooth enamel to worsen dental sensitivity and promote tooth decay. If you have an upcoming flight planned, schedule a consultation with a dentist in your local area. Having your dental concerns taken care of before your trip can help ensure that your time in the air is pain-free.

For more information, contact a dental office like Centre Family Dentistry today.