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All you need to know to understand the tooth pain associated with diving


As a diver, you know the importance of taking care of your equipment and body before, during, and after a dive. But have you considered the impact of your dental health on your dive experience? Tooth pain during a dive can be caused by the changes in pressure and temperature experienced. This type of tooth ache is known as barodontalgia. In this article, we'll explore what barodontalgia is, it’s causes, and how to prevent and treat this tooth pain.

What is Barodontalgia?

Barodontalgia is also known as "tooth squeeze". It is a dental condition that causes tooth pain and discomfort due to changes in pressure in the air cavities inside your teeth. This condition occurs when the difference in pressure between the air-filled spaces in the mouth and the surrounding environment causes the gases in the dental pulp to expand or contract, putting pressure on the nerves and causing pain. This pain  can happen during a dive, ascent, or descent, and can range from mild discomfort to severe pain in your teeth, gums and jaw. Barodontalgia can affect any tooth, but is most commonly felt in the teeth with previous dental work, such as fillings, crowns, or root canals and teeth presenting cavities, gum disease, or cracked teeth.

scuba divers smiling underwater

Preventing Barodontalgia

The best way to prevent barodontalgia is to maintain good dental hygiene and address any dental issues in advanced. Regular dental checkups and cleanings can help identify and treat any condition before they become a problem during a dive. It is also essential to avoid any dental procedures that may affect your diving, such as getting a filling or root canal close to a diving trip.

Staying hydrated and drinking plenty of water is essential for good dental health during dive trips. Underwater, the dry air and constant breathing through a regulator can dry out your mouth and reduce saliva production, which can lead to anincreased sensitivity, risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Stay hydrated by drinking water before and after dives, and consider carrying a water bottle with you on the dive boat.

Treating Barodontalgia

If you experience tooth pain during a dive, it is essential to ascend slowly and seek immediate dental examination. Delaying treatment can lead to further dental issues and tooth loss. Dental treatment for barodontalgia may include filling or crowning a tooth, root canal therapy, or even tooth extraction in severe cases.

Barodontalgia can be a painful and uncomfortable dental condition for divers. To prevent and treat barodontalgia, it is essential to maintain good dental hygiene, address any dental issues far ahead of any dive, and seek immediate dental treatment if you experience tooth pain during a dive. By taking care of your dental health, you can enjoy a safe and exciting diving experience. HAPPY DIVING!

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