If you scuba dive, here’s more reason to maintain good oral health and see your dentist regularly: Dental problems can become more apparent or exacerbated underwater, according to a pilot study in the British Dental Journal in February 2017. It surveyed 100 certified recreational divers.
The most common problem reported during dives was barodontalgia (“tooth squeeze”), which is a squeezing sensation or pain in teeth that arises as changing air pressure acts on air cavities inside them.
Other problems were jaw and gum pain, probably related to clenching on the mouthpiece. Some divers experienced loosening of crowns.
The researchers advise getting checked for cavities and any damaged fillings or restorations prior to diving to prevent “diver’s mouth syndrome” and getting mouthpieces evaluated. If you have problems, custom-fit mouthpieces, available at dive shops and online, may help by aligning the jaw in a more stable position.
Also see Your Dental Checkup.