Whether you want to check out the Great Barrier Reef from Cairns or swim alongside whale sharks outside Perth, Australia offers some of the most impressive scuba diving sites in the world. Of course, there are always a few risks that come with donning your wetsuit. You might worry about attracting a dangerous marine inhabitant, but you might not think about how diving can affect your mouth.
Here are just three things you should do to ensure your diving doesn't interfere with your oral health.
1. Get a Dental Check-Up to Prevent Pressure-Related Pain
If you're already a certified diver, you'll know that you need to manage the way air pressure changes as you ascend and descend. For example, you can damage your ears if you go down too fast. In much the same way, it's possible to damage your teeth.
If there are any air bubbles trapped in your teeth, the pressure can change as you ascend and descend in the water. Air bubbles can be caused by broken crowns or fillings, abscesses, gum disease, or unfinished root canals, and changes in pressure can create serious pain. In fact, the pressure could even cause the affected tooth to crack or break apart. Make sure you see your dentist before your next dentist trip to help prevent this from happening.
2. Use a Well-Fitted Mouthpiece to Avoid Jaw Pain and Tooth Wear
Many people diver using mouthpieces that are too small. This means that they have to grip down quite hard to keep them in their mouths. One of the more obvious problems associated with such a practice is that you wear down the enamel on your teeth a little, but it's actually your jaw that you should really be worried about.
Biting down for such long periods, especially when you have to drag a relatively weighty regulator, can place excessive stress on the jaw joint. This can even lead to temporomandibular joint syndrome (TMJ).
3. Drink Plenty of Water to Avoid Dry Mouth
Finally, make sure you drink plenty of water before and after each underwater excursion. It can be tempting to resist doing so; after all, there aren't any toilets underwater, unless you want to warm up your wetsuit a little.
The issue is that the air you breathe from your tank will be quite dry. This will sap your mouth of saliva, which is an integral part of your mouth's defence against plaque and bacteria. Drinking plenty of water will ensure that saliva is stimulated at all times.Share