As summer is wrapping up, you might be trying to prolong summertime by taking an end of summer vacation. A lot of people go to the beach or on scuba diving trips. Scuba diving is enjoyed by about 4 million people in the United States. However, most people don’t realize it’s important to keep your dental health in mind before you go diving. Today, the doctors at Dentistry of Nashville are blogging from Nashville, TN to explain why it’s important to know your teeth before you go scuba diving.
Most people don’t realize it, but scuba diving can lead to jaw joint pain, gum tissue problems, and severe tooth pain. These are all an indication of “diver’s mouth syndrome.” Diver’s mouth syndrome is typically caused by your regulator’s mouthpiece, and the air pressure change that occurs when you’re scuba diving. While these problems are manageable when you’re back on land, they can be detrimental when your body is underwater and filled with nitrogen.
When you go diving, it’s easy to get over excited when you take your first breath underwater. You don’t always realize that you’re dragging a bulky regulator around by a small mouthpiece- and since this mouthpiece is your only source of air when you’re 30-60 feet underwater, it’s easy to get carried away by biting down too hard. Unfortunately, this clenching can lead to jaw joint pain and even gum lacerations.
Beginner divers usually don’t notice the discomfort caused by a mouthpiece regulator that doesn’t fit, because they’re too sidetracked by the beautiful underwater scenery around them. Not to mention, breathing underwater requires concentration in itself. Alas, when they get to the surface they notice jaw joint pain from clenching too hard.
If the jaw pain lasts longer than a few days, you should visit your dentist. If you’re a serious diver, then it’s actually possible to make a custom-fitted mouthpiece, which will help you avoid diver’s mouth syndrome.
Another dental problem typically associated with scuba diving is caused by a “tooth squeeze.” A tooth squeeze occurs when air gets trapped in a space of your mouth, and expands as you rise to the surface. Typically these are caused if you’ve had a large cavity, a broken filling, gum disease, or abscess. A tooth squeeze can be extremely painful and even dangerous.
The moral of the story? Go to your dentist, and make sure you have good dental health before going scuba diving. Be careful if you’ve recently had a tooth extracted or if you have temporary fillings. Especially don’t dive with dentures or partial dentures, as they can accidentally be swallowed during a dive.
While dental implants have a 98% success rate, you should wait until your procedure has totally healed before diving. Talk to your dentist about how long you will need to wait before scuba diving, and make sure that you go to regular dental checkups before a dive trip. Diving immediately after a dental implant procedure could result in a failed procedure.
If you’re curious about dental implants, give our team a call today at 615-383-3690.
Until then, stay tuned for more interesting tidbits on dental health and tooth restoration procedures.