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Splash Into Tooth Saving Tips

Splash Into Tooth Saving Tips
by Dr. Stephen J. Parr D.D.S.

Read Splash Into Tooth Saving Tips by Dr. Stephen J. Parr D.D.S. to learn more about Grove Smiles® Dentistry and our Dentistry office in Coconut Grove, FL.

We look forward to serving you! Call - 305-858-0505.

We have all felt sensitivity in our teeth at times, but have your teeth ever felt super sensitive after swimming at the pool? If so, that is no coincidence, but it can take quite a lot of swimming before the effects become noticeable.

If you have wondered why the water in swimming pools could damage teeth, read on.

The Question of Chlorine

The same chemical that kills many germs that love to swim in that freshwater pool can also be pretty hard on our teeth if the pool’s pH isn’t carefully regulated. The proper pH for pool water is 7.2-7.8, but it can quickly become acidic because of the chlorine. When this happens, your teeth are susceptible to swimmer’s calculus.

What is Swimmer’s Calculus?

Swimmer’s Calculus is not the name of an underwater math class; it is what happens to tooth enamel after prolonged exposure to acidic chlorine ions.

Like the diluted hydrochloric acid that forms in pools with chlorine, the acid will erode more tooth enamel the longer we swim. This prolonged exposure can lead to “swimmer’s calculus,” or yellow and brown stains on our teeth. Plus, it can also make our teeth extra sensitive after swimming due to the erosion of the enamel, which exposes the more vulnerable dentin underneath.

Not Just Pools – Let’s Head To The Sea!

Maybe you are not a massive fan of the public or freshwater pools, but you love snorkeling and diving in natural bodies of water. Unfortunately, while you probably will not have to worry about swimmers’ calculus, these activities come with their own set of tooth-threatening problems.

The Tooth Pressure of Scuba Diving

If you have ever felt the water pressure in your ears when you dive or swim at the bottom of the pool’s deep end, imagine the stress on your teeth when you scuba dive.

When diving, the tiny air bubbles trapped in cracks, crevices, and holes in our teeth change size due to the pressure. This tooth pressure is referred to as Barodontalgia. This pressure can cause significant tooth pain and even fracture teeth. Due to the seriousness, aiming for excellent prevention by visiting the dentist is a priority before the diving season begins.

A Dental Sea Challenge: Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome (TMJ)

Most divers know the inconvenience of the mouthpiece design, but you might not know all the specific ways it is terrible for your teeth.

The mouthpiece shape has often been described as “one size fits none” because it’s too small and does not fit most divers’ teeth. However, despite the less-than-ideal size and shape, we still have to grip it between our teeth when we dive.

Clenching our jaws for so long, especially when the pressure is mainly on the front teeth, can lead to Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome (TMJ), which causes jaw pain, headaches, and difficulty chewing. So if you are a frequent diver, we recommend getting a custom-fitted molded mouthpiece.

Our Dental Health Ring

This summer and every summer, all of us at Grove Smiles Dentistry in Coconut Grove, FL, want to make sure that you and your family are enjoying your favorite water activities without the added fear of the health of your teeth.

So please schedule an appointment today or ask us at your next visit how we can develop the best plan to help you avoid these common underwater tooth problems.

For Your Health,

Dr. Stephen J. Parr D.D.S.

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Grove Smiles® Dentistry

Dr. Rita Dargham, D.M.D.
2685 Bird Avenue
Coconut Grove, FL 33133
Phone: 305-858-0505
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