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Flying with bad teeth



Junior member
Mar 15, 2024
Hi. I may be flying in a month, and I have a variety of dental issues. I started thinking it might not be safe to go up in the air with certain issues. I read somewhere that things can pop, that bad things could happen in the flight if you have tooth issues. I'm trying to find a dentist that can deal with my anxieties and dental phobia before my trip. But I'm hoping that a dentist here could also answer my question at least in a general way. I have a lot of dental problems right now including a very large hole in a tooth on the side front, the fang tooth lol. Honestly if I touch right next to my nose sort of under it it feels weird, so maybe there's an abscess? There is no pain though. And then I have a broken off upper back molar that has been that way for a while, discomfort sort of but no real pain. But today the tooth right next to that broken off molar is hurting quite a bit, so that's a new thing! What I want to know is...is it okay to fly with some dental issues? The fewer dental things I would have to do before the trip the better for various reasons, but I don't want to go up in the air for several hours and be in excruciating pain or have something bad happen. I also have heard that if you have dental work you could be in excruciating pain in the flight too. My husband tells me he doesn't think it would be a problem because of the pressurized cabin. So while I plan to start getting some of my teeth fixed soon, I would like to try to avoid some of it before the trip. I hope this makes sense and wasn't too confusing! Thanks 😊
In theory, if there's an abscess present then the slightly reduced air pressure in the plane can make it expand a bit more, leading to some swelling, it doesn't seem to happen very often in practice though.
The excruciating pain thing is a bit different... basically with old amalgam fillings there would be a microscopic air gap between tooth and filling.
Go up in an airplane without a pressurised cabin and the air gap would swell causing a lot of pain. It also happens to deep sea divers as they get depressurised, I've actually seen it once!
Doesn't apply to commercial flights though.
Hi Maria please
Could I have an update on how your flight went
I am due to fly Wednesday and have a deep cavity which needs. Filling and isn't going to be able to be done until I get back and I am so scared of
Going I am thinking of cancelling my whole trip but I don't want to let my children down I have been having panic attacks not sleep or anything thinking of the flight with this cavity being untreated
Thank u in advance
It's not an abscess so there should be no problem with flying at all.
Hi Gordon thank you for your reply
I have had a bit of
Pain and pressure in it the last few days so I've been super panicking but I have started antibiotics this morning?
Do you think I will be ok?
because I am seriously considering cancelling this holiday due to this poxy tooth 🙈😭
Given you're already on antibiotics then I'd say it's worth the risk. I doubt your holiday insurance will pay out if you cancel :(
@Maryjo2309 I'm sorry I'm late with a reply! We had to cancel our trip for other reasons. We will probably go in September now. I still haven't figured out the dental thing and haven't had any work done. I can't figure out who to go to that will treat me nicely 😟 I hope it goes well for you!!🙏🏼

Now I have to try to find somebody before September! I'm hoping to get some work done sometime late July or early August... Ugh!😫 🤤

Please let us know how your trip went, since you are probably going!
I flew both commercial and private small plane with an unknown at the time large abscess on my front tooth.

My husband has his small plane pilot license and we flew in an unpressurized small plane multiple times with no issues or pain.

I was on a 6 hour commercial flight later after just having had an implant placed and a tooth extracted, and multiple other dental issues. I was scared it was going to be painful and my dentist sent me with antibiotics just in case one of the teeth with a suspected infection flared up. I had no issues and enjoyed my vacation!
Wow, that's great! I'm glad that you had a good time and didn't have to suffer pain! 😭 I have this tooth that has a big hole in it and I'm pretty sure it has an abscess but it doesn't hurt really. I really have to get this looked at before I go anywhere. I'll probably have to have this one removed before I go and try to wait on the other things. Maybe I can get antibiotics as well. Thanks for your update!
So sorry for the delay in replying i didn't end up going either my little boy ended up in hospital with tonsillitis and needed them removed as an emergency literally the night before we was due to fly so we cancelled our trip hope u manage to get it all sorted thank u for all the replies and advise it's very appreciated
Wow that's a shame that both of you missed out on your trips, I hope you manage to get them re-booked without too much fuss and I hope the wee is feeling better soon Maryjo.
Oh I'm sorry that your son got sick! I hope he is doing well now, and that you will be able to go on a trip. Good luck with your teeth too! I'm trying to work out a dentist that is kind and won't judge me! Not that easy!🤷🏼🤞🏼🤞🏼