A dip in the pool is a great way to stay cool in the summer heat but did you know that your favorite water activities could pose a threat to the health of your teeth? From frequent swimming to scuba diving, you can take steps to protect and treat dental issues related to water sports.
Swimming pools stay sanitary thanks to the chemical concoction that is added to the water. All that chlorine raises the pH level in the pool to a higher level than the pH of saliva. As a result, salivary proteins break down at a faster rate than usual. Those proteins then attach to your teeth as brown or yellowish organic deposits.
This is commonly referred to as swimmer’s calculus. This issue only affects frequent swimmers (six or more hours per week). Don’t worry, this is easily taken care of with regular dental cleanings.
Swimming Pool Accidents
Swimming pool accidents are the number one reason people require emergency dental attention in the summer. Running on wet concrete is a slippery slope to a chipped tooth. You can fracture a tooth when swimming and misjudging the distance to the concrete walls. Kids often bang their face against the lip of the pool when they surface too quickly after swimming underwater.
These kinds of injuries are easily preventable. If you’re participating in a sport like water polo, invest in a good mouth guard. Also be sure to pick up swimming goggles, and you’ll never have to swim with your eyes closed again.
If you have kids, remind them to follow the pool rules. Don’t run, don’t dive into shallow pools, and don’t rough house in the water. Remember, pool guidelines exist to keep you safe.
Scuba diving is a popular sport and a favorite sport to participate in while on vacation by the ocean. Deeper water creates more pressure on divers, and as the pressure changes, air can be forced into cavities and fillings. When the diver makes their way to the surface, the water pressure decreases, and the trapped air expands. This causes pain, bleeding, and even fractured teeth.
Tooth squeeze is painful and most common in divers who have dental problems, such as decay or infections. People who have had teeth removed recently or had any cavities filled are also more likely to suffer from tooth squeeze. Tooth squeeze can generally be treated with over the counter pain medication and by avoiding diving until you no longer have symptoms.
Concerned about the health of your teeth this summer?
LaBell Dentistry can fit you with a custom mouth guard, made especially for your mouth. We can clean up swimmers calculus and repair broken teeth, and we specialize in gum and bone dental care. Our office is located in Woodinville, Washington. Give us a call at (425) 402-1246 to schedule an appointment or inquire about any of our services.