We all need to visit the dentist regularly. However, it seems that scuba divers might need some special attention…
A study, by the British Dental Journal, suggests that scuba divers commonly suffer from dental issues.
More than 40 percent of a small group of divers surveyed online had “experienced dental problems during a dive.” A squeezing sensation known as barodontalgia (or tooth squeeze) was the most common occurrence. Molar teeth were most often the source of pain and diving instructors, who spend a lot of time in shallow water with fluctuating pressure, were most likely to have dental symptoms.
‘Divers Mouth Syndrome’ is a condition caused by the mouthpiece and by the air pressure change involved in scuba diving. Standard diving mouthpieces are often too small. This means the diver may end up tensing their jaw to bite down on the mouthpiece. However, when diving, they are likely occupied and won’t notice any jaw pain until they resurface.
Tooth squeeze, is a more common issue as it highlights problems that you may not know exist.
If there’s a big cavity, a broken filling, gum disease or abscess or incomplete root canal therapy, the changing pressure of scuba diving can become extremely painful. Therefore, it’s important that scuba divers have their dental health checked before they investigate the deep.
If you’re going through a straightening treatment, diving with braces is generally safe. Although it’s a good idea to let your orthodontist know you’ll be diving. Some braces are equipped with springs and wires that may come detached and could present a choking hazard. Also, biting down on a regulator mouthpiece for 30 or 45 minutes can place a little additional stress on teeth that are still being aligned. So a diver wearing braces can expect that their mouth may be a little more tender or sore than usual.
Some dental issues may go unnoticed. Or, first time divers may be unaware that diving can have an impact on their dental health. With around half of the UK population failing to attend regular dental appointments, it’s not hard to see why these issues would be missed.
So, if you’re thinking of going scuba diving this summer holiday, be sure to see your dentist regularly!
Whether or not you’re one of the 1.5 million UK scuba divers, we could find you the perfect dentist. DefactoDentists.com is an online listing website to help you find the ideal dentist in your area! So before you get that wetsuit on, be sure to give our website a look.