Scuba Divers Should Visit Their Dentists Before Plunging Into Water, Says Study

Posted: Dec 28 2016, 7:51am CST | by , Updated: Dec 28 2016, 9:52pm CST, in News | Latest Science News

 

Scuba Divers Should Visit Dentists Before Plunging into Water, Says Study
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Scuba diving can lead to a wide range of dental symtoms from pain in the jaws and teeth to loosened crowns.

Diving deep into the waters and exploring biodiversity appears to be a perfect recreational activity, but it could lead to a trip to dentist.

According to a latest research, one of four scuba divers suffers dental problems in the water. The constant jaw clenching and fluctuations in the atmospheric pressure underwater could result to a wide range of dental symptoms from tooth, jaw and gum pain to loosened dental crowns and broken fillings. So it is better to consult dentist before diving into the water.

“Divers are required to meet a standard of medical fitness before certification, but there are no dental health prerequisites,” said lead author Vinisha Ranna from University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine.

“Considering the air supply regulator is held in the mouth, any disorder in the oral cavity can potentially increase the diver’s risk of injury. A dentist can look and see if diving is affecting a patient’s oral health.”

The study lead author Ranna herself is a scuba diver who noticed a squeezing sensation in her teeth during her first scuba diving experience.

In order to further understand dental problems in scuba diving, she created an online survey and distributed to 100 certified recreational divers. All of the participants were at least 18 years of age and had no history of respiratory disease

Of those, 41 participants reported dental symptoms. About 42 percent of them suffered barodontalgia, 24 percent experienced pain due to holding the air regulator in their mouths and 22 percent reported jaw pain. Five percent said their crowns were loosened during the dives while only one reported a broken dental filling.

“The potential for damage is high during scuba diving,” said Ranna.

“The dry air and awkward position of the jaw while clenching down on the regulator is an interesting mix. An unhealthy tooth underwater would be much more obvious than on the surface. One hundred feet underwater is the last place you want to be with a fractured tooth.”

Scuba diving is gaining immense popularity as a recreational sport. There are almost 3.5 million active scuba divers in the United States alone. However, the problems associated with this activity should be addressed to avoid pain and discomfort in the routine life.

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Hira Bashir covers daily affairs around the world.

 

 

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