Diving Damage to Your Teeth

It’s winter and several of our East Setauket dental patients went off to warmer climates for scuba diving. I’ve never gone diving – sounds scary – but I am tempted to learn this sport so I can see the fabulously colored sea life. I read recently that pressure changes during diving can cause damage to your dental fillings. A case was reported in an article in JADA titled “Dental Restoration Dislodgment and Fracture During Scuba Diving: A Case of Barotrauma.” http://jada.ada.org/cgi/content/abstract/140/9/1118. Barotrauma is a term used to describe an injury caused by a rapid or extreme change in air pressure. Areas within the body (such as your teeth) can be especially affected by barotrauma.

The article explains that three of a patient’s fillings fractured or dislodged while he was scuba diving at a depth of 35 meters. His dentist later replaced the broken fillings with new fillings and crowns.

Inadequate fillings can predispose patients to barotrauma. To prevent barotrauma-related damage to the teeth, you need to be sure your dentist places high-quality restorations that do not trap air beneath them. People who are exposed to barometric stress should know the causes of barotrauma.They need to be aware of the importance of regular dental checkups to help avoid barotrauma-related dental problems.

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