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Tips For Flying With Toothache

Mon Aug 17, 2009 9:58 pm

Hi guys

On friday I had dental treatment done (wisdom tooth extraction and a filling on another tooth). Due to the deep filling this irritated the pulp of my tooth which led to toothache since (although every day it had gotten a bit better and apparently with deep fillings it is normal to have pain and sensitivity to cold for a week or so.

My issue is that I am flying LHR-SIN-BKK tomorrow and I have heard that flying can exacerbate toothaches. So I wanted to see if anybody had any tips on minimising discomfort. I was planning on Ibuprofen and Orajel. I was told that changes in atmospheric pressure can trigger toothaches - the interesting thing is that I was on a high speed train today that went through a long tunnel and caused the ear discomfort you get in aircraft, and yet my tooth was fine.

Like I said earlier, the tooth has gotten better every day and if I wasn't flying tomorrow I wouldn't be worried as this type of pain is relatively mild now (it was much worse on friday) but I guess I am worried about 16 hours of flying with it. Apparently toothache when flying is usually caused by trapped gases under the filling which can't escape when cabin atmosphere changes and this isn't the case in my situation, so just looking to see if anyone here has experience of minimising/preventing anything flaring up.

All advice gratefully received
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RE: Tips For Flying With Toothache

Mon Aug 17, 2009 11:10 pm

One option could be to take advantage of alcohol offered on flights.  Wink I was also going to recommend chewing ice, but with sensitivity to cold, that may very well make it worse! But if you are going to BKK for business, showing up all boozed up may not make for a happy reception, and I am sure someone on here has some better suggestions. Good luck with your flights!

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RE: Tips For Flying With Toothache

Mon Aug 17, 2009 11:51 pm

1. Your doctor is the best source for advice since he/she is more familiar with your health particulars and can do more than merely speculate as to what may cause or exacerbate any irritation.

2. Take the time, right now, to identify one or two high-quality dental/orthodontia facilities close to your location in Thailand that you could readily get to in the event of any complications during the trip. I'd also ask the doctor if he/she's heard of those facilities or might personally know of any practicioners in Thailand he/she could recommend in an emergency. At a minimum, make sure you have a means by which you or medical professionals in Thailan could quickly contact your doctor at home if consultation was required.

A little advance work now can prevent or minimize a ton of problems 5,000+ miles away from hom.
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RE: Tips For Flying With Toothache

Mon Aug 17, 2009 11:57 pm

Relax Ryanb741, you should be fine. Toothaches are only an issue if you have a festering/infected tooth. Since your discomfort arises out of the surgical procedure having come close to your root (i.e., a physical cause and not an organic cause), you should be good.

In the cases of pain because of an infected tooth, that is the result from the outward pressure exerted by the puss and bacteria in the confined diseased tooth cavity. The same results are felt when flying with a sinus infection - a sharp shooting pain in the head. Most uncomfortable. The key here is that all sign of infection in the root has been removed by your dentist. But even so, I recall once I had a root canal done and flew even though there was a small bit of matter at the bottom of the tooth. There was enough stuff at the bottom of my tooth to cause a slight swelling in my gum, but it went away after a few weeks and I didn't feel a thing while I was in the air.

Have a great time in BKK! I really like that place and when airfares come down a bit, I'll make plans for another Thai holiday.
"Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power." - Abraham Lincoln
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RE: Tips For Flying With Toothache

Tue Aug 18, 2009 12:07 am

How about sleeping pills? Anytime i don't feel well and have to fly i grab some natural sleeping pills, they really help.
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