Flying always comes with a share of irritations, from long security lines to cramped seats. However, for some people, taking to the skies can also bring on a toothache. Here’s why this may be happening and how to decide if you need to see a dentist.

Why Your Teeth Hurt When Flying

Tooth pain while flying is actually a function of the difference in air pressure inside the cabin. The lower air pressure is what causes your ears to pop and can give some people headaches.

Another common issue is intense sinus pressure, which squeezes the nerves around your jaw. If you’re feeling a dull ache in all the upper back teeth, excessive air pressure in your sinus may be to blame.

dentistWhile higher altitudes won’t make tooth problems worse, it can make existing issues more noticeable. For instance, sharp pain in a specific tooth could mean you have air trapped inside a filling or even a chipped tooth. Even if the pain fades when the plane lands, you should see a dentist to determine the source of the discomfort.

How to Prepare for Flying

The best way to deal with any tooth problem is to visit your dentist before flying. A thorough exam gives them the chance to correct any issues that might cause discomfort on your flight. They may also prescribe pain medication or recommend over-the-counter products to make your flight more comfortable.

If you’re prone to sinus pressure when flying, try chewing gum or yawning. This can let high-pressure air inside your sinuses escape, reducing the chance of a toothache. Some people find that taking a decongestant before taking off reduces sinus pressure and the other symptoms it brings.


Whether you’re headed on a cross-country trip or just need a routine exam, trust Bolivar Family Dental to deliver the prompt, compassionate oral care you need. Their dentists proudly serve patients throughout Polk County, MO, and the surrounding counties. The practice offers a comprehensive range of services in a comfortable, welcoming atmosphere. To schedule your first appointment, call (417) 777-8654, or visit their website to learn more about their expertise.