Most people have fears. Some of my patients are fearful of having dental treatment done. Recently I’ve decided to tackle one of my own fears, scuba diving. My husband and I are taking open water lesson at Underwater Dive Center just up the road from our practice. During the first lesson, I learned that there is a phenomenon known called barodontalgia, better known as “tooth squeeze”. Simply, it is pain in a tooth caused by changes in atmospheric pressure. This occurs rarely, but is apparently quite painful and will cause you to have to quit diving until it is resolved. Tooth squeeze occurs when air is trapped under a filling- from either a leaking filling or an area of decay. Additionally, it has also been known to occur with teeth that are fractured or a tooth that has had a root canal that has not been permanently restored with a dental crown. As a diver descends further and further under the water, the pressure of water on top of the diver causes air to compress, this air can become trapped in an air space within the tooth. When the diver begins their ascent to the surface, the trapped air expands causing pain or even fracturing the tooth. To avoid this painful diving issue, make sure you have a dental exam and all teeth repaired before you go on your next underwater diving adventure.

Dr. Julie Pruneski is the dentist and owner of Whispering Pines Dental, located at 690 Cooper Foster Park Road in Lorain. If you have any questions regarding tooth squeeze or would like to reserve an appointment with Dr. Julie Pruneski, call us at 440-282-2023.