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What’s Barodontalgia and How Can You Prevent It?

Barodontalgia is the pain that appears within the teeth when we alter altitude and the atmospheric pressure changes. We’ll inform you every little thing it’s essential to find out about it here.

Do you swim steadily and discover that your teeth hurt after diving? If that’s the case, you might be affected by barodontalgia.



This little-known condition can really affect the standard of lifetime of certain people who find themselves lively at altitude or in deep water. Mountaineers, divers, pilots, or employees who should travel continuously by plane are also all liable to barodontalgia.

However it isn’t only the career or the sporting activity that may be responsible. A primary risk factor is poor oral hygiene or neglect of oral cavity pathologies, akin to cavities. The latter, and not using a proper approach, increase the probabilities of getting pain when the atmospheric pressure changes.

Considering that nobody desires to have discomfort within the mountains, on board an airplane, or submerged within the ocean, we inform you why barodontalgia occurs and what you possibly can do to stop it. Don’t miss it.

What’s barodontalgia?

The term barodontalgia consists of two parts. The primary is baro, which implies ‘pressure’. Alternatively, odontalgia, means ‘toothache.’

In this manner, we understand that the concept refers to pain within the dental elements brought on by the change in atmospheric pressure to which an individual is subjected. This alteration in pressure may be brought on by an ascent to high altitudes or by a descent to considerable depths underwater after which a return to the surface.

The expression tooth squeeze is used to explain the phenomenon and the patients’ sensations. It could possibly be translated as ‘tooth squeeze’ in English, because along with the pain there may be the perception that the dental element itself exerts pressure outside itself.

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Who can suffer from barodontalgia?

Barodontalgia can appear at any age and affect any person. In any case, the requirement of going through a change in atmospheric pressure have to be met. That’s to say, if there’s pain in a tooth without being at a high altitude or without being submerged, then we cannot speak of this disorder.

On this sense, there are population groups which might be more exposed on account of their work or recreational activities. Amongst them we will mention the next:

  • Mountaineers, hikers, and mountaineers.
  • Aircraft pilots, flight attendants, and air crews.
  • Soldiers and military personnel performing aviation or diving tasks.
  • Skilled or sports divers.
  • People whose work requires them to travel steadily in airplanes to perform tasks in several destinations.

But as we mentioned within the introduction, inside these more exposed groups there are risk aspects that increase the potential for affected by barodontalgia. That’s to say, not everyone who gets on an airplane can have pain of their teeth.

Those that present any of the next conditions usually tend to be affected:

  • Gingivitis or gum inflammation.
  • Dental fillings or repairs.
  • Cavities.

This greater susceptibility is explained by the exposure of the dental pulp in these patients. It’s on this tissue that the dental nerve may be found, which is ultimately liable for registering the change in atmospheric pressure and reacting with pain when faced with it.

Diving is linked to traumas which might be related to pressure changes, akin to people who affect the ear and teeth.

The mechanism of pain responds to physics

To know why there may be dental pain when faced with a change in atmospheric pressure, we must confer with a principle of physics which is the Boyle-Mariotte law. It states that the amount of a gas trapped in a closed container, at a relentless temperature, changes in line with the variations within the pressure it receives.

This alteration is inverse. If the encompassing pressure increases, the enclosed gas decreases in volume. Quite the opposite, if the pressure decreases, then the gas increases its volume.

In barodontalgia this is applicable to the gas contained in the dental elements (especially if there are cavities). When ascending in altitude above sea level, the atmospheric pressure decreases; this causes the gas contained in a tooth to expand, increasing its volume and pushing outward.

In diving, the identical thing happens when ascending back to the surface. The diver is subjected to more atmospheric pressure as he descends, but as he rises out of the water the alternative process begins, which could be reminiscent of ascending a mountain.

Now, why is gas trapped contained in the tooth? The routes by which air reaches the inside of the pulp chamber are varied. Although the cause is probably not determined, it’s most certainly that some factor has played a job in causing the gas to return into contact with the dental nerve.

If there’s been a death in some a part of the pulp tissue, the gas could discover a place to occupy. In the identical way, it might find it difficult to exit through the blood since the vascularization is poor, on account of necrosis of the world.

Within the case of getting suffered a fracture in a tooth, the fissure serves as a channel for the gas to maneuver inward and find it difficult to exit. It’s as if it were a unidirectional path for the air to enter, but not to go away. The identical explanation applies to a misfit filling or one which presents leakage spaces.

Again, we emphasize that barodontalgia having a previous dental condition is a risk factor. Then, what the change in atmospheric pressure does is stimulate the trapped gas to change its volume. And that’s when the pain appears.

That’s the reason it’s understood that this process is a symptom, but not a disease in itself. If the pain appears on account of a change in pressure, a dentist ought to be consulted to find out which underlying clinical condition is responsible.

Symptoms of barodontalgia

In fact, the cardinal symptom of barodontalgia is toothache or the feeling of compacting from throughout the tooth element when the atmospheric pressure changes. But there are associated signs that may suggest the underlying condition.

For instance, essentially the most acute and intense pain is related to caries. Alternatively, when small hemorrhages appear across the affected tooth, they are often the results of recent oral surgery.

It’s rare and infrequent for the gas to cause a dental fracture when it expands. Nevertheless, it may complicate or aggravate a clinical condition that’s already present within the patient beforehand.

There’s a classification for barodontalgia that considers the symptoms and the possible underlying condition. It’s as follows:

  • Class 1: pain appears suddenly when ascending, however the patient feels nothing when descending. That is most certainly acute or irreversible pulpitis.
  • Class 2: throbbing and dull pain when ascending, which appears progressively, but without symptoms when descending. It could possibly be a chronic pulpitis.
  • Class 3: the presence of the identical pain as in school 2, but occurring when descending and never when ascending, is indicative of necrotic pulpitis.
  • Class 4: finally, intense pain, each when ascending and descending, results in the suspicion of apical periodontitis.

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Tips on how to prevent it

Stopping barodontalgia is comparatively easy. It’s essential to take some precautions once we know that we shall be in situations of atmospheric pressure changes. And particularly those patients with caries, pulpitis, dental fractures or who’ve recently received oral surgery should take extreme measures.

Due to this fact, it’s logical to emphasise that the principal prevention lies in good oral hygiene. So long as the aspects that affect the production of pathologies of the mouth are reduced, there shall be less risk of pressure pain.

It would even be essential to have regular check-ups with a trusted dentist. If we now have had oral surgery, a tooth extraction or a dental work done and we now have to get on a plane, we will ask the skilled in regards to the safety of taking the flight.

Similarly, if we steadily practice sports activities akin to mountaineering or diving, we will even should receive the authorization of the dentist and medical clearance to resume these disciplines. The dentist’s office will give you the chance to offer you a tentative date to return to practice after surgery.

For divers attending diving schools, it’s essential that the instructors are aware of your oral health. They will even give you the chance to recommend or to not dive in line with their experience with the topic.

Equalizing pressures

There are two natural and easy methods that may contribute to equalizing somewhat the pressures between the surface and the inside the body when we alter altitude. They may not at all times prevent barodontalgia, and is probably not of much use if there are serious pathologies of the teeth, but in mild cases, they make a difference.

One option is to chew gum. The act of chewing mobilizes the air contained in the mouth and generates changes within the Eustachian tube, which is an anatomical structure that connects the pharynx with the ears. In this manner, the inner and external pressures are likely to equalize.

The Valsalva maneuver pursues the identical objective. It consists of attempting to exhale air with the nose and mouth blocked. Probably the most practical is to shut the mouth, cover the nose with the hands, and force to expel the air retained against the obstruction that we generate on purpose.

Cavities are a risk factor for barodontalgia. That’s why they ought to be treated promptly in patients who will travel by plane or who practice scuba diving.

The role of a dentist within the prevention of barodontalgia

The prevention of barodontalgia also relies on the dental skilled. Since pain often occurs in pre-existing oral pathologies or on account of air leaking into previously operated tooth elements, it ought to be recognized that poor fillings or flawed approaches within the dental office may be risk aspects for patients.

Dentists ought to be aware that some materials utilized in clinical practice are simpler in stopping periodontalgia. That is the case of resin versus zinc phosphate and versus glass ionomers. This substance higher withstands changes in atmospheric pressure, so it might be the primary alternative for treatment in airline pilots or divers, for instance.

In turn, if the practitioner knows that his or her patient has frequent activities at high altitudes or practices diving, then they need to take the initiative to cut back risk aspects. This involves checking old arrangements and never letting signs of decay evolve untreated.

Barodontalgia is an indication of something else

It’s vital to be clear that barodontalgia indicates a condition within the mouth. So, in the event you suffer from it steadily or it has happened to you in recent time, it’s paramount to seek the advice of a dentist.

There are probably cavities, pulpitis or dental fractures that should be addressed immediately. This can prevent latest episodes of pressure pain, but will even limit the complications of the disease in query.

In brief, oral health and dental hygiene are the pillars of prevention of barodontalgia. In case you like mountaineering or scuba diving, or if you may have to spend a whole lot of time in airplanes for work reasons, then be certain you sweep your teeth and visit your dentist recurrently.

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