Why scuba diving is surprisingly bad for your teeth
Smithsgold - 1/02/2017 12:05 PM
Category: Health & Safety
Replies: 6

Why scuba diving is surprisingly bad for your teeth
Read more at coach.nine.com.au/2016/12/23/09/44/scuba-diving-denta...#VDRgtM1mfgBz6ekY.99

If you were quizzed on the common dangers on scuba diving, you’d likely answer “the bends” or “burst eyeballs capillaries” or “popped eardrums” — “ruined teeth” probably wouldn’t make your list.

But nearly half of divers experience ominous sounding “dental symptoms” in the water, according to a new study from the University at Buffalo’s School of Dental Medicine.

It’s all down to the constant jaw-clenching and changes in atmospheric pressure that can cause dental troubles (or exacerbate existing ones) ranging from tooth, jaw and gum pain to loosened crowns and broken fillings.

The study’s lead author Vinisha Ranna — who was inspired to undertake the research after experiencing a squeezing sensation in her teeth on her first dive in 2013 — noted that “the potential for damage is high during scuba diving”.

She determined how common dental woes are by surveying 100 certified recreational divers.

Ranna found that 42 percent of respondents experienced barodontalgia (the same squeezing sensation that affected her), 24 percent described pain from holding the air regulator in their mouths too tightly, and 22 percent reported jaw pain.

Molars are the most common spot to feel painful while diving, and dive instructors who spend the most time at shallower depths — where pressure fluctuations are the greatest — are mostly likely to be affected.

“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,” Ranna observed in a statement.

She advised wannabe divers to think about seeing their dentist before taking the plunge.

“Considering the air supply regulator is held in the mouth, any disorder in the oral cavity can potentially increase the diver’s risk of injury,” she said. “A dentist can look and see if diving is affecting a patient’s oral health.”

Read more at coach.nine.com.au/2016/12/23/09/44/scuba-diving-denta...#VDRgtM1mfgBz6ekY.99
Eric_R - 1/02/2017 2:25 PM
Now this is something you can really sink your teeth into.
BillParker - 1/02/2017 7:15 PM
Seeing dentist is good advice under any circumstances.
ELLOCODIABLO - 1/02/2017 11:14 PM
Seacure moldable mouthpieces were best xmas gift wife ever got me. Wife had to stop diving because of TMJ
LatitudeAdjustment - 1/03/2017 6:57 AM
From ELLOCODIABLO: Seacure moldable mouthpieces were best xmas gift wife ever got me. Wife had to stop diving because of TMJ

I was pissed when my LDS replaced my second stage because new was cheaper than parts and labor to rebuild the 25 year old 2nd and they chucked my Secure.

The Seacure stayed in place without any effort.

When I started diving in the 60’s I was warned about dental work but being aircrew I was already telling the dentist not to leave any air spaces and I’ve never had any issues :)
tstormdiver - 1/04/2017 9:36 PM
Thankfully, I have a fantastic dentist, who is also a diver... so he understands & to date,... I have never had any dental issues underwater.
captn_rob - 10/03/2017 2:51 PM
I wear upper dentures AND have TMJ. My new Sea Elite reg is great because it is lightweight but the regs I used to certify (Aqua lung I think) with were awful: Hard to keep in my mouth and caused very sore jaws.

There are mouthpieces available that do not require biting/clenching that I want to try and I am thinking of putting a swivel on my primary reg hose to eliminate the push/pull from the hose.