There are many potential health annoyances and risks associated with flying, including dehydration, catching a cold, and even developing blood clots. Despite air travel having many potential adverse effects, most people don’t think twice of how it can affect their oral health—until they develop a serious toothache mid-flight, that is.

Air travel involves changes in air pressure. And while commercial airliners feature pressurized cabins to keep passengers comfortable, rapid changes in altitude can still result in telltale pressure-related symptoms such as headaches, ear popping and pain, and toothaches. People who suffer from altitude-related toothaches have a condition called aerodontalgia (also known as bar odontalgia), and it’s often indicative of more serious tooth-related problems.

Got Spring Break Travel Plans? Get a Check-Up Before You Go.

The months of March and April are popular travel months due to spring break. If you’re planning on flying to a destination in the coming weeks, it’s important to get a complete dental check-up before you go to avoid air travel-related toothaches and to keep your oral health in tip-top condition, especially if any of the following apply to you:

You have older fillings—Teeth with fillings are particularly sensitive to pressure-related pain. That’s because altitude changes can cause air to expand in the gap between fillings and teeth, causing increased pressure, sensitivity, and pain.

You have cracked or damaged teeth—Changing altitudes can also cause air to expand inside small spaces in and around damaged teeth. That can result in sudden discomfort and pain during flights.

You have tooth decay—Tooth decay is already a major cause of toothaches, and the problem can be worsened by changing air pressure levels inside airplane cabins.

At Willow Chase Dentistry, our dental health checkups are designed to quickly and efficiently identify any current and potential problems concerning teeth and gums. It’s our goal to make sure your teeth are clean, beautiful, and pain-free.

Don’t risk a toothache ruining your spring break plans. Request a dental appointment with our team of dental professionals today.