From swimming with honu off the Big Island coast, to admiring mano from afar, there are plenty of reasons to smile during your time under the sea. And with all the underwater wonders, oral health isn’t exactly top of mind. Don’t let these 3 dental disasters destruct your deep-sea dives:
1. Get a grip.
Little has changed since the mouthpiece was designed more than 70 years ago. As a result, mouthpieces are too small for the average diver, making it a strenuous effort to keep it in place. Chomping down for an extended period of time can strain your jaw and even lead to temporomandibular joint syndrome (TMJ)
Prevention Tip: Try to relax and loosen your grip. If you’re a frequent diver, you may opt for a customized mouthpiece.
2. Prepare for pressure.
Barodontalgia or “tooth squeeze” occurs when mouth ailments become exasperated due to a drastic change in pressure. As a diver descends into deeper water, air can become trapped in a cavity, cracked filling or abscess. During the ascent, that air expands, causing pain.
Prevention Tip: Visit your dentist before your trip to ensure you’re in good dental health.
3. Eliminate choking hazard.
Thanks again to that ill-fitting mouthpiece and to the excitement of the dive, dentures and partial dentures can be knocked out of place, creating a choking risk.
Prevention Tip: Remove dentures or partial dentures prior to jumping in, or visit your dentist beforehand to check that everything fits properly.
Scuba with a healthy smile! Share your diving adventures photos on our Facebook page.