If you’re planning on going scuba diving soon, you probably have a checklist for everything you need to prepare first. Do you have your swimsuit or wetsuit ready? What about equipment? Do you have a guide? But there’s one thing you should always do before scuba diving that you might not have thought of: Visit the dentist.
This may surprise you, but scuba diving can put a lot of pressure on your teeth. By taking proper safety precautions, you can keep your teeth safe throughout your scuba experience and enjoy your dive!
Tips for Scuba Diving Safely
Seeing your dentist isn’t the only thing you should do to protect your teeth before and during scuba diving. Here are some good steps to follow to ensure you’re scuba diving safely.
- Make sure you’re up to date on your dental checkups! You’ll want to make sure that you don’t have any existing dental conditions that could be aggravated by a dive.
- If you have any fillings that need replacing, now is the time! Ceramic fillings are the strongest available option, and will hold up to the pressures of scuba diving.
- Do you have symptoms of TMJ? If you think you might have TMJ, scuba diving could cause additional damage to your temporomandibular joint.
- Check your mouthpiece to make sure it fits comfortably. Any discomfort you feel now will be magnified after hours in the water, so try to start your dive with a well-fitting mouthpiece.
The best way to be positive you’re prepared for the possible oral health fallout of scuba diving is to see your dentist before your dive and let them know your plans. If you need anything dental procedures in the near future, this may be a good time to get those out of the way in case your scuba trip exacerbates the situation.
How Scuba Diving Affects Your Oral Health
A recent study from the University at Buffalo revealed that a staggering 41% of divers report experiencing dental symptoms in the water. Diving instructors, who spend a lot more time in shallower depths with frequent pressure fluctuation, experienced the most frequent symptoms.
There’s plenty of potential for damage between the fluctuating water pressure, the stress that scuba gear puts on the jaw, and even just the dry air divers are breathing while underwater. Symptoms reported by divers ranged from barodontalgia, which is a squeezing sensation in the teeth, to jaw pain, and even included loosened crowns and a broken filling.
Researchers recommend that people planning on scuba diving consult with their dentist first, to ensure that decay and any other necessary dental procedures are addressed before diving.
If you’re looking for a dentist in Altamonte Springs to evaluate your dental health before a scuba diving trip, Dr. Michael L. Weinstock is available for appointments. Call (407) 834-6446 or contact us online and we would be happy to help you set up an appointment.