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For Authors Continuing Education
Vol. 71, No. 1
ISSN: 1488-2159
January 2005


Barodontalgia as a Differential Diagnosis: Symptoms and Findings


• Roland Robichaud, BSc (Hon) •
• Mary E. McNally, MSc, DDS, MA •

A b s t r a c t

This paper provides a review of the literature concerning the etiology and manifestations of barodontalgia, as well as important clinical considerations for its management. Barodontalgia is characterized by exposure to a pressure gradient, such as that experienced by underwater divers, aviation personnel and air travellers. This form of dental pain is generally marked by a predisposing dental pathology such as acute or chronic periapical infection, caries, deep or failing restorations, residual dental cysts, sinusitis or a history of recent surgery.

Studies indicate that severity of barodontalgia and the resulting deterioration of dental health correlates with duration of barometric stress. Restorative materials are also affected by pressure gradients. Resin is indicated as a luting agent of choice for cementing fixed prostheses in populations at risk for barodontalgia. Under the influence of pressure gradients, resin cements maintain original bond strength and demonstrate the least amount of microleakage compared with other cements.

The key to avoiding barodontalgia is good oral health. Clinicians must pay close attention to areas of dentin exposure, caries, fractured cusps, the integrity of restorations and periapical pathology in those at risk. The Fédération dentaire internationale describes 4 classes of barodontalgia based on signs and symptoms and provides specific and valuable recommendations for therapeutic intervention.


MeSH Key Words: aerospace medicine; barotrauma/complications; diving/injuries; toothache/etiology
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