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Flight Attendant Toothache Syndrome

“Lao Li, let me tell you, I took a plane to Sanya last week; it’s strange to say, as long as I see a flight attendant on the plane, I have a toothache! Is this a flight attendant toothache syndrome?” Lao Li and Lao Huang are dozens of In the year of the dead party, every chat was always open.

“Stewardess toothache syndrome?” Don’t joke!

“No kidding, just last month, sitting on the plane. As long as I saw the sweet stewardess, my teeth were dull and painful. After getting off the plane, it was completely fine! I think it was scared by the stewardess!”

“Another thing is weird! Even when I go down for diving, my teeth will ache! It will be fine when I go ashore.”

Do you feel strange? Okay, after saying so much, Xiaoya should be right. The gentleman above jokingly said “Stewardess toothache syndrome”, which is a typical “air pressure toothache”.

  • Pneumatic toothache is due to the asymptomatic tooth, which is caused by the change in air pressure. For example: when flying, skydiving, climbing, diving, entering a high-pressure-related working environment.
  • At the moment of air pressure toothache, in addition to analgesics, ice compress can be considered for relief; but pay attention to whether there is an acute condition of the heart or cerebral neurovascular.


Toothache is due to the original asymptomatic teeth, which is caused by changes in air pressure. For example: when flying, skydiving, climbing, diving, entering a high-pressure-related working environment. In a diving environment, this pain is often referred to as “teeth crush.”

Possible causes of pneumatic toothache

Why is it possible? Because the medical clinic has no authoritative explanation for pneumatic toothache. The tooth is not the same as the tissue or organ of the body, because the tooth is a closed structure, the outer layer is very hard enamel, dentin, cementum structure; inside is a cavity, we call it Pulp cavity. The contents contained in this cavity are collectively referred to as pulp tissue, which roughly contains nerves, blood vessels, lymph and other accessory tissues.

Under healthy conditions, these structures have a certain tolerable range when the external pressure changes reasonably, and there are almost no symptoms, but when these structures are sick, such as tooth decay, trauma, tooth cracking, pulpitis, pulp necrosis Inflammation around the apex of the tooth, periodontal problems, etc., but because of changes in air pressure, it will squeeze the nerves inside the tooth-the pulp nerve, or the nerves around the tooth, causing tooth pain.

Of course, this is only a very simplified explanation, and the detailed pathogenesis still needs to be clarified by further research.

Pneumatic toothache when flying

Everyone will be surprised. When flying, isn’t the pressure in the cabin the same as on the ground? Why is there toothache when the air pressure changes?

In fact, this is not the case. When the aircraft is flying, the air pressure at high altitude is far below sea level. Although the cockpit will be pressurized by a special device, the cabin pressure is still slightly lower than flat (about atmospheric pressure at about 1,800-2,400 meters above sea level). In other words, when we take a plane, the atmospheric pressure inside the plane is about equal to your altitude when you are playing on land from 1500 meters to 2500 meters.

In other words, when we are flying at high altitude, although most of you will not feel the difference, the air pressure is actually relatively low, but most people can adapt to this lower air pressure. However, when your teeth are sick, the nerves inside or around the teeth may be squeezed due to changes in air pressure, causing tooth pain.

It is also worth mentioning that, in addition to the occurrence of air pressure toothache when flying, it can also be seen when the mountaineering height is high.

Pneumatic toothache during diving

Pneumatic toothaches that occur during diving are more common in water depths of 10 meters. However, the pressure-related toothache associated with diving is not higher than that when flying; according to research, about one in ten divers has the opportunity to experience pressure-related toothache.

Some scholars believe that the water pressure during diving and the gas sent from the cylinder directly press on the problematic teeth, resulting in pneumatic toothache. However, some scholars have suggested that when diving into the water, the gas may circulate through our tissues and run into the closed cavity of the pulp or the cavity of the periapical lesion; or the gas of the cylinder directly penetrates the tooth decay and tooth Cracked, problematic fillings leak into the closed cavity of the pulp or the cavity of the periapical lesion. However, when you dive to the surface, the decompression is not very thorough. These gases expand in the closed space of the teeth, pressing the painful nerves of the teeth and causing you toothache.

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