PREVALENCE OF TOOTH-SQUEEZE OR BARODONTALGIA AMONG THE MILITARY AND COMMERCIAL PILOTS AND AIRCREW MEMBERS IN AN OPERATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT OF A COSMOPOLITAN CITY OF PAKISTAN
Dr. Muhammad Sami Bilal*, Urooj Ishfaq, Dr. Shaheer Jamal, Dr. Beenish Sami and Minahil Ali
Barodontalgia: Changes in ambient pressure occur during flying, diving, or hyperbaric oxygen therapy and can cause different types of pathophysiological conditions and pain including toothache. Barodontalgia also called as aerodontalgia refers to pain in the soft tissues resulting from disequilibrium in the air-filled spaces around a tooth caused by ascent and decent into places with differential barometric pressure. It is commonly known as tooth squeeze, flyers tooth and aerodontalgia. In general, barodontalgia is defined as pain that occurs in the region of the teeth after pressure change. In some instances, Barodontalgia has been identified as the only cause of an aircrew member suddenly becoming incapacitated, thus hazardously compromising the safety of the affected person as well as others. The incidence of barodontalgia in aircrew has been reported to vary. There is plethora of variation of in-flight barodontalgia cases in literature and most of the current epidemic logical data on barodontalgia has been computed from Military Aircrew and Commercial Pilots. The aim of the study was to evaluate the prevalence of barodontalgia in Pakistan Military and Civilian Aircrew Members of a third world country such as Pakistan. Methods: A cross sectional study was conducted on Military and Civilian Pilots at an operational airbase and civil international airport in Pakistan. A standardized self-reporting anonymous questionnaire was distributed among 350 subjects, with questions, regarding gender, age, type of flying (commercial/fighters), the in-flight pain, type of pain, and recurrence of pain. Informed consent was taken and participants were informed that their confidentiality will be maintained and kept anonymous by excluding their names and other identification marks. Results: 350 subjects were selected. Out of 350 subjects, 179 responded (response rate 52%) with mean age 30.31+/- 5.634 year. Among military zero (0) cases of barodontalgia was reported and 17% from Commercial Pilot reported the cases of barodontalgia once in life. None of subject from Military and Commercial Pilot experienced the recurrence of barodontalgia pain. Conclusion: Barodontalgia was only reported in civil airline pilots and commercial aircrew and none of the military pilots reported any incidence of barodontalgia.
Keywords: Aerodontalgia, tooth squeeze, barodontalgia, aviators’ toothache.
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