Your teeth are under a lot of pressure– and that’s not just when you’re biting or chewing. Whenever you are subjected to extreme changes in altitude or atmospheric pressure, you could experience a type of squeezing dental pain that might send you running to the office of a Greenville SC dentist.
The condition called ‘tooth squeeze’ is another name for the phenomenon known as barodontalgia. Pilots, mountain climbers, and scuba divers are most likely to suffer from this condition, but anyone can be impacted by it. The pain, which is similar to the phenomenon that occurs when your ears pop on an airplane, is caused by the expansion and contraction of air pockets inside of your teeth. The intensity of this pressure change is especially noticeable when you are in extremely high pressure environments such as the ocean, or particularly low pressure settings such as an airplane.
What causes air pockets in the teeth?
A pocket of air can form within a natural tooth that has been penetrated by a cavity, a leaking filling, or a poorly-fitting crown. Healthy teeth that are intact are less likely to be affected by atmospheric changes, and that’s why it is important to avoid postponing your recommended dental treatment. A cavity or an infection can cause extreme pain in response to extreme atmospheric pressure changes. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to receive emergency dental care when you are on a plane, deep sea diving, or climbing a mountain!
Here’s what you should do if you experience tooth squeeze:
If you are currently experiencing the pain of a tooth squeeze, avoid any hot or cold beverages. Temperature changes can make the pain worse, so avoid coffee or ice cream if you are mid-flight. Then, make plans to see a Greenville SC dentist as soon as you are able. The loose filling, cavity, or dental infection should be addressed immediately in order to prevent a future flare-up.
For more answers on this topic, call to schedule your dental appointment today.