Dental barotrauma

Not to be confused with Dental trauma.

Dental barotrauma is a condition in which barometric pressure changes in the external environment cause damage to the dentition. The problem can occur owing to a miniature void within a filled tooth. It is technically difficult to completely prevent void spaces occurring when placing a filling and carrying out root canal treatment. According to Boyle's law, when the external pressure rises or falls the trapped air within the void will attempt to expand or contract. The stresses this places on the tooth structure can cause pain, or rarely fracturing of the tooth structure.[1] Typically this is seen in scuba divers[2] or aviators[3] who experience pressure changes in the course of their activity. Identifying the pain during a pressure change is a diagnostic indicator for the clinician. Treatment involves removing the void space by carefully replacing the offending restoration, repeating the endodontic treatment or removing the tooth.[4]

See also


  1. Zadik Y, Einy S, Pokroy R, Bar Dayan Y, Goldstein L (June 2006). "Dental fractures on acute exposure to high altitude" (PDF). Aviat Space Environ Med. 77 (6): 654–7. PMID 16780246.
  2. Zadik, Yehuda; Drucker Scott (September 2011). "Diving dentistry: a review of the dental implications of scuba diving". Aust Dent J. 56 (3): 265–71. doi:10.1111/j.1834-7819.2011.01340.x. PMID 21884141. Retrieved 11 September 2011.
  3. Zadik Y (January 2009). "Aviation dentistry: current concepts and practice" (PDF). Br Dent J. 206 (1): 11–6. doi:10.1038/sj.bdj.2008.1121. PMID 19132029.
  4. Zadik Y (Jul–Aug 2009). "Dental barotrauma". Int J Prosthodont. 22 (4): 354–7. PMID 19639071.
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