If you’re someone who loves to scuba dive, you may be wondering if you can continue this activity if you have dentures. It’s a common concern, as scuba diving requires you to keep your mouthpiece in place for extended periods. You might be hesitant to participate in scuba diving, fearing that water pressure could dislodge or damage your dentures.
However, scuba diving with dentures is possible with some preparation and care. In this article, we’ll explore the question “Can you really scuba dive with dentures?” and provide you with the jaw-dropping truth.
Table of Contents
- 1 Common Concerns of Scuba Diving with Dentures
- 2 Tips for Scuba Diving with Dentures
- 2.1 1. Consult with Your Dentist
- 2.2 2. Consider Using a Full-Face Diving Mask
- 2.3 3. Consider a Custom-Fit Mouthguard
- 2.4 4. Use The Right Denture Adhesive
- 2.5 5. Rinse Your Mouth and Dentures Thoroughly After Diving
- 2.6 6. Stay Hydrated
- 2.7 7. Avoid Chewing Gum or Eating Sticky Foods Before Diving
- 2.8 8. Keep Extra Adhesive and Replacement Dentures On Hand
- 2.9 9. Practice Removing and Reinserting Your Dentures
- 2.10 10. Take It Slow and Stay Calm
- 3 The Benefits of Scuba Diving with Dentures
- 4 Conclusion
Common Concerns of Scuba Diving with Dentures
You can wear dentures while scuba diving with certain precautions. Diving with dentures can pose a potential choking hazard especially with partial dentures, although some dentists believe it is safe if done carefully.
Having false teeth or dentures isn’t on the list of medical conditions that can prevent you from scuba diving. Still, there are certain situations that may hinder your diving adventure if you’re wearing dentures. Taking precautions against these situations will make diving with dentures a more streamlined and smoother experience.
One of the main concerns of scuba diving with dentures is the risk of them coming loose or falling out mid-dive. When diving, the pressure can cause the mouthpiece to dislodge, which can be dangerous if the diver is not prepared to handle the situation.
Biting and Chewing
Dentures can make it challenging to bite and chew food, and this can be particularly problematic when diving. A diver’s mouthpiece can displace dentures, making it uncomfortable to bite down on the mouthpiece.
Cold water can cause the dentures to contract while diving in warm waters can cause the dentures to expand. Both of these situations can make the dentures ill-fitting in the mouth which in turn makes it difficult to hold on to the mouthpiece.
- Dentures can also affect a diver’s ability to breathe (sometimes the dentures enable them to hold their breath which is a big non-no) comfortably
Equalizing pressure is an essential skill in scuba diving, and dentures can make this task challenging. Dentures can affect the ability to pinch the nose and blow air into the sinuses to equalize pressure.
Aerodontalgia, also known as “tooth squeeze”, is a common condition experienced by scuba divers. It occurs when changes in pressure cause air pockets in the teeth to expand, putting pressure on the nerves and causing pain. This can be a particular concern for divers with dentures, as the pressure changes can cause discomfort or even damage to the dentures.
If your dentures are loose or damaged, they may not provide adequate support and can increase the risk of tooth squeeze.
Tips for Scuba Diving with Dentures
With the proper preparation and precautions, you can enjoy a safe and comfortable dive without worrying about your dentures.
1. Consult with Your Dentist
The most obvious tip. Your dentist can offer the most suitable advice. Before you go diving, pay a visit to your dentist. They can examine your dentures to make sure they fit properly and are in good condition. Your dentist may also be able to provide you with specific tips and advice for diving with dentures.
2. Consider Using a Full-Face Diving Mask
If you want your dentures to stay in place during your dive, you may want to carry a full-face diving mask.
Unlike traditional diving masks, which require a separate mouthpiece, full-face masks cover the entire face, including the mouth and nose. This way you won’t require a mouthpiece, which makes it easier to keep your dentures in place.
Full-face masks also provide a number of other benefits, including improved visibility and increased comfort. With a full-face mask, you can breathe through your nose, which can be more comfortable and reduce the risk of jaw fatigue. The larger viewing window also provides a wider field of vision, allowing you to see more of the underwater world.
3. Consider a Custom-Fit Mouthguard
A custom-fit mouthguard can help keep your dentures in place while you dive. These mouthguards are designed to fit your mouth and dentures perfectly, providing an extra layer of security. Talk to your dentist about getting a custom-fit mouthguard before your next dive.
4. Use The Right Denture Adhesive
Choosing the right adhesive can make all the difference when it comes to scuba diving with dentures. There are a variety of denture adhesives available on the market, but not all of them are suitable for the purpose of scuba diving. Look for an adhesive that is specifically designed for use with dentures and is waterproof.
It’s also important to choose an adhesive that doesn’t contain zinc, as zinc can react with saltwater and cause a chemical burn on the gums. Apply the denture adhesive generously but don’t overdo it.
5. Rinse Your Mouth and Dentures Thoroughly After Diving
After your dive, rinse your mouth and dentures thoroughly with clean water. This can help remove any saltwater, sand, or debris that may have accumulated during the dive. Be sure to clean your dentures gently to avoid damaging them.
6. Stay Hydrated
Dehydration can cause dry mouth and make it more difficult to hold your dentures in place. Make it a habit to drink plenty of water before, during, and after your dive to stay hydrated.
Avoid drinking alcohol or caffeine before diving, as these can have a dehydrating effect on the body. Additionally, it’s a good idea to bring a water pouch with you on the dive boat so you can stay hydrated throughout the day, even when underwater.
7. Avoid Chewing Gum or Eating Sticky Foods Before Diving
Chewing gum or eating sticky foods can increase the risk of your dentures becoming dislodged during the dive. Avoid these types of foods for several hours before diving to reduce the risk.
8. Keep Extra Adhesive and Replacement Dentures On Hand
It’s always a good idea to bring extra adhesive and replacement dentures with you on your dive. This will make sure that you’re prepared to tackle any unexpected situation that may arise. Keep the adhesive in a waterproof container or pouch to prevent it from getting wet.
9. Practice Removing and Reinserting Your Dentures
Practice removing and reinserting your dentures in a dive pool beforehand. This can help you get more accustomed to the process and ensure that you know what to do if your dentures become dislodged during the dive.
10. Take It Slow and Stay Calm
If you do experience any issues with your dentures during the dive, it’s important to stay calm and take it slow. Try to ascend slowly and avoid any sudden movements that could cause your dentures to shift or become dislodged.
The Benefits of Scuba Diving with Dentures
Enough talk about the ill aspects of dentures. Let’s take a look at the positive outcomes of confidently rocking dentures to your next dive.
Improved Oral Health
Scuba diving with dentures can be an excellent way to maintain your oral health. It allows you to keep your jawbone stimulated, which can help prevent bone loss and preserve your facial structure. Scuba diving can also be a great form of exercise, which can improve your overall health and well-being.
One of the biggest benefits of scuba diving with dentures is the improvement in confidence that comes with it. People with dentures are usually self-conscious about their appearance or worry about their dentures falling out. Scuba diving provides an opportunity to forget about these petty worries and focus on the beauty of the underwater world.
Dentures can sometimes become loose or ill-fitting, especially if they are not properly maintained. However, scuba diving can actually help to improve the fit of dentures. The pressure of the water can help to keep dentures in place, and the increased saliva production that occurs during diving can help to keep them moist and comfortable.
Clear communication is essential while scuba diving and dentures can sometimes make it difficult to speak clearly. However, with practice, many people find that they are able to communicate more clearly while wearing dentures during a dive. This can lead to a more enjoyable and safe diving experience.
Scuba diving with dentures is possible with proper precautions and preparation. It’s essential to have a well-fitted mouthpiece and suitable dental adhesive. Also, consider using a full-face diving mask to ensure that the dentures stay in place and are comfortable throughout the dive.
While there are some risks involved, scuba diving can be a fantastic way to explore the underwater world while maintaining your oral health. If you wear dentures and are also interested in scuba diving, don’t let those dentures hold you back from enjoying the sport!