Marysville Dentist Discusses How to Avoid a Toothache on an Airplane

Marysville Dentist Discusses How to Avoid a Toothache on an Airplane

You and your family are on the plane headed to a special destination for spring break! The plane heads down the runway and takes off. Just as you’re about to start watching your favorite movie for the tenth time, you feel a growing pain in one of your teeth. What is that all about? Unfortunately, you can have a toothache on an airplane and not know the tooth has a problem until you’re 30,000 feet above ground. Read on to learn about how a Marysville dentist can help you avoid this predicament. 

That Painful Tooth and Cabin Pressure

Could cabin pressure have something to do with a toothache while flying? Yes, that is the issue. Truth be told, the human body is not designed for flying. So when you are on a plane, the air pressure in your ears and sinuses must equate to the cabin pressure, and that changes most during take-off and landing. That is why people try to pop their ears by chewing gum or yawning; they need to equalize the pressure. 

The same thing can happen inside a tooth if air is trapped inside. The problem is that air in your tooth may not be able to escape, and the resulting pain and pressure can be severe. 

How Does Air Become Trapped in a Tooth?

Air may become trapped in your tooth in one of two ways. The first is decay, which erodes a tooth and often creates a cavity. The decay process can allow air into a tooth. When you are on a flight, the trapped air cannot equate to cabin pressure. Unfortunately, you find this out with the ensuing toothache.

The second reason for a toothache on a flight is when air is trapped in a filling or other dental work. Older fillings especially can develop very small gaps or holes, leading to trapped air. 

How Can You Avoid a Toothache on an Airplane?

Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do once you are at cruising altitude. You can try an over-the-counter painkiller, but that may not be strong enough. Chewing gum and swallowing may work for sinuses and ears, but they don’t work to equalize the pressure in your tooth. 

The best prevention is regular checkups with a dentist in Marysville. If you have not see your dentist in a while, then be sure to schedule a visit before your next trip. Dental checkups are often the time when cavities or loose filling are discovered, and it is best to have those treated sooner rather than later. 

Do not let a toothache disturb your family vacation. Come see the dentist now, so you can have a pain-free flight!

Meet the Practice

At Allen Creek Family Dentistry, we provide the preventive, restorative and cosmetic dentistry patients need to have a healthy mouth and a beautiful smile. If you have travel plans, consider visiting the dentists in Marysville before you leave. Call our office today to schedule a visit.


6618 64th St. NE, Suite C, Marysville, WA 98270

Office Hours

MON 8:00 am - 4:00 pm

TUE 11:00 am - 7:00 pm

WED 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

THU 9:00 am - 6:00 pm

FRI 8:00 am - 3:00 pm

SAT - SUN Closed

Get in Touch

Email: allencreekdentistry@gmail.com

Phone: (360) 651-2900