Thursday, 13 July 2017

Scuba Diving And Dental Health

Looking after your teeth is an important activity, particularly when engaging in high-risk activities.

Did you know that diving is such an activity and that divers can find themselves facing very specific problems, when it comes to their dental health? Many divers complain of similar dental problems, including jaw pain, loss of fillings and broken teeth. It's estimated that 4 in every 10 scuba-divers will experience some type of dental problem during their exploration of the sea floor.

There are a few factors singular to diving, which could directly cause problems with the teeth. These include the repeated clenching of the jaw on the mouthpiece used to control oxygen flow, and the high level of pressure that is experienced at greater depths of the ocean. It is advisable for divers to visit the dentist before every dive to ensure that they do not experience problems while diving.

Research conducted by Vinisha Ranna found that, after surveying 100 recreational divers, 41 of these people reported problems with their dental health, and almost half of those experienced a problem known as barodon-talgia.

Previously known as aerodontalgia, barodon-talgia is caused by pressure changes which cause damage to the tooth. As the pressure rises, air pockets in the teeth can also begin to pressurize. This can end in a shattered tooth. The deeper you go, the higher the risk becomes. At a mild level this can be rather painful, and then cease once pressure is equalized back at sea level. At an extreme level, it can lead to the loss of a tooth. A similar study showed that recreational divers could experience this difficulty with their teeth anywhere from only 33 feet down to as much as 80 feet. A very similar problem is often experienced by high-altitude climbers.

Ranna also found that 24 percent of those drivers who complained of dental problems, told of pain from holding the air regulator in their mouth. The constant pressure and friction to the teeth and gums from the breathing apparatus and the below surface pressure can cause pain and damage. This can be worse in new divers, as they tend to bite down hard on their breathing apparatus because of the cold temperatures and nerves. 

Finally, Ranna found that 5 percent said they had become aware of a loose or lost filling or crown during or caused by their diving activities.

Because of the vast number of injuries caused by this recreational activity, dentistry is seeing more and more clients who require a range of dental treatments ranging from dental crowns to fillings and dental implants. 

This is alarming when scuba diving is becoming an ever-growing recreational activity. The Professional Association of Diving has certified more than 24 million people around the world. For these people, it is suggested that a dental checkup before diving in, is key to ensuring the wellbeing of your teeth. 

Keeping on top of your dental health is important, as teeth won’t look after themselves. Midlands Smile Centres can offer support and advice, as well as dental checkups for anyone who may require them. Save yourself from the pain and the cost of damaged dental teeth and head to your local MSC now to wash your dental problems away.

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