Tips for Traveling When You Have a Toothache

When going on a trip, you want it to be as uneventful as possible. The last thing you want is to have a toothache while traveling on a plane when you cannot do anything about it. Being prepared in advance can help you get some toothache relief if you should need it. 

The Possibility

Certain conditions in your teeth can make it possible for you to have tooth pain in the air even when you do not feel any pain on the ground. The cause will likely be from air trapped in your tooth. This can happen if you have dental problems or if you have had a dental treatment that may have trapped a tiny pocket of air in it. 

The slight pain in a tooth on the ground can become severe tooth pain once you get in the air, leaving you without options. This happens because as you gain altitude and the internal cabin pressure of the plane changes, the air in your tooth will likely expand. This places more pressure on your tooth, causing the pain levels to increase. It is even possible that a tooth that does not hurt on the ground could start hurting once you get airborne. 

The pain will be greatest as the cabin pressure is adjusting. This occurs when the plane is ascending or descending. If the changes in air pressure cause dental pain, then it most likely will stop when you get back on the ground. If it continues, flossing your teeth around that area of pain may release the buildup of pressure. 

The Ideal Preparation

If you know that you have dental problems, the ideal way to deal with them is to go to a dentist for treatment before your trip. This would enable the dentist to identify problem teeth and remedy the problem in advance. This is the ideal toothache remedy you want. 

This is something that you want to do if at all possible. Otherwise, you may find it very difficult to find a dentist that will accept your dental insurance if you travel to another country. If they do not accept it, you could be in a lot of pain while on your trip, and you likely will need to fly back. 

Bring Medication

If you expect dental pain while in the air, you can take some over-the-counter pain medication in advance. You would need to take them about 30 minutes before the flight to ensure that it is working when you get on the plane. 

Teeth That May Be Affected

Other teeth may also be affected by the changes in altitude. They will be ones that are not healthy, but it is possible that you were not aware of it. 

  • Fillings –Fillings can become loose or damaged, and this can cause pain when flying.
  • Cracked Teeth – Teeth that are cracked could be a real problem – even if the crack is very small – almost unnoticeable. 
  • Cavities – Teeth with decay in them, whether you noticed it or not, could be a problem in the air.
  • Recent dental work – In general, work done recently by a dentist should not give you a problem with pain in the air. Teeth that are still sensitive to dental work may have some pain.
  • Sensitive teeth – Teeth that are sensitive already have damage in the enamel. It is on its way to a cavity. 
  • Infections – If you have an infection in a tooth, this is apt to be quite painful. You need to see a dentist right away because it could become very serious.

If you have pain across your upper back teeth, it is because of sinus pressure, and it is not tooth-related. This can happen because your sinuses are very close to your teeth and their nerves. 

Avoid Cold or Hot Foods and Drinks for Toothache

With dental pain, you want to avoid eating foods or drinks that might make the pain worse. You can expect that hot or cold foods or drinks will make it worse. If you get a drink, let it get much closer to room temperature before drinking or eating it. You will also want to avoid sugary drinks or foods or acidic ones such as coffee, tea, or sodas. Water is your best drink with tooth pain.

Toothache Home Remedies

  • Clove oil – This oil can be found in many shops. It has been used for centuries to provide relief. Put a few drops of clove oil on a cotton ball and then put it on the tooth. It should help rather quickly. Avoid using it if your gums are sensitive. 
  • Ginger and Cayenne – The secret ingredient in cayenne pepper is capsaicin. It is used in many products for muscle relief because it stops pain signals from going to the brain. Adding some ginger and water to it will make it even better. 
  • Use Ice Packs – Keeping your jaw cold with ice packs can help reduce the swelling and some of the pain.