Prevalence of barodontalgia in Indian origin pilots: a survey
Barodontalgia, a dental pain evoked by a change in barometric pressure in an otherwise asymptomatic tooth, may be severe enough to cause in-flight vertigo, incapacitation, and premature cessation of flights and altitude-chamber simulations. This study was planned to measure the prevalence of barodontalgia among Indian pilots. Five hundred questionnaires consisting of demographic data and questions about the occurrence of tooth pain during flying were distributed among pilots. There was a response rate of 60.8%. Almost 20.6% of the sample experienced barodontalgia at one point in time during their practice. More pilots had an occurrence of pain while flying. Pilots had higher incidence of pain while ascending than descending. The highest percentage of tooth pain occurred in pilots while flying at an altitude that ranged from 11,000 to 20,000 ft. Recurrence of tooth pain after treatment occurred in few pilots. Barodontalgia is common in India with a high prevalence rate. Pilots reported high occurrence and it was common on ascent while flying and descent.