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Before scuba diving, consider a trip to the dentist

Researchers report that 41 percent of scuba divers experience dental symptoms in the water.

Due to the constant jaw clenching and fluctuations in the atmospheric pressure underwater, divers may experience symptoms that range from tooth, jaw, and gum pain to loosened crowns and broken dental fillings.

It is suggested that recreational divers consult with their dentist before diving if they have recently received dental care. Since the air supply regulator is held in the mouth, any disorder in the oral cavity can potentially increase the diver’s risk of injury.

Vinisha Ranna conducted the research which appeared in the British Dental Journal after noticing a squeezing sensation in her teeth (a condition known as barodontalgia) while scuba diving. An unhealthy tooth underwater would be much more obvious than on the surface.  One hundred feet underwater is the last place you want to be with a fractured tooth.

The study also found that pain was most commonly reported in the molars. Patients should ensure that dental decay, cracked teeth and restorations are addressed before a dive.


Source: Vinisha Ranna, lead author; University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine

Posted January 12th, 2017