Prevalence of barodontalgia in Turkish Air Force flight crew

  • Cumhur Sipahi
  • M. Salih Kar
  • Can Durmaz
  • Emre Dikicier
  • Umut Bengi

Received Date: 11.10.2006 Accepted Date: 12.12.2006 Gulhane Med J 2007;49(1):1-4

Barodontalgia is dental pain observed in aviation personnel, air travellers and divers and originating from high pressure gradients occurring due to sudden altitude changes. However, there are no reported studies available regarding the incidence of barodontalgia in aviation personnel in national military flights. This prospective study was planned to determine the prevalence of barodontalgia in Turkish Air Force flight crew. Also it was aimed to provide data about the etiology and treatment principles of and preventive interventions from barodontalgia. Special follow up forms were formed for recording data about physical examination and history. The flight crew of 4 different military air bases were examined before and after each flight between 2002 and 2006, and data were recorded on the follow up forms. Following the analysis of accumulated data, it was determined that the barodontalgia prevalence in Turkish Air Force flight crew was 0.3%. In other words, flight crew personnel is exposed to barodontalgia in 3 of every 1000 military flights. Of causative effects of barodontalgia, secondary caries lying under weakened fillings was most common with a ratio of 28%, followed by pulpitis (22%), caries and periapical infections (16%), necrotized or gangrenous teeth and sinusitis (6%) and finally deep fillings and weakened crowns (3%). No case of barodontalgia caused by dental residual cysts was found.

Keywords: Aeorodontalgia, barodontalgia, barometric pressure gradients, aviation medicine