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  • 1 Post By latestartfish

Thread: dentures and diving

 


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    FinaddictFred's Avatar
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    dentures and diving

    I'm sure this topic has been posted before but I have gone through 25 pages and found nothing thus far so....
    I will be getting dentures in the near future and need to know any problems I might incure when diving and do you dive with or without them?
    Thanks,
    Fred
    Too much of everything is just enough !!

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    DandyDon's Avatar
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    I've always handled this subject by PM before, but what the hell. Everyone who's met me knows that I need to have my lowers done, so I might as well admit to the uppers I already have.

    I've done all of my dives with the uppers in, and never a problem. I just prepare for diving with a very generous amount of denture glue. In fact, once on a manatee snorkel boat, I was chatting with a non-swimmer who said he quit scuba when he got dentures, and I tried to remove mine to show him - but couldn't.

    Don't know what the lowers will do to me, but I have recently switched to a Manta mouthpiece that stay in a lot easier than others.

    Good luck!
    You can test the tanks you breathe or - dive on hope.
    Testing is safer...


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    Laurence Stein DDS's Avatar
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    finaddictfred,

    Yes, this has been answered before but it never hurts to mention it again.

    I'm assuming you are referring to full or complete dentures...i.e., no natural teeth=edentulous.

    The official line is that you should not dive with them because they are an aspiration hazzard. The lower denture is usually unstable because it can be moved by the tongue and the muscles of the cheeks and lips. The upper denture is more stable but when you inhale through the regulator, the air rushes past the palate portion of the denture between the tongue and denture and creates a low pressure area (relative to the pressure between the denture and the hard palate. This is an example of Bernoull's Principle. The denture can theoretically be sucked away from the palate and into the air stream...forcing it back into the throat.

    The "unofficial" line is that I have no knowledge of any scuba deaths related to denture aspiration. It seems that most scuba divers with dentures wear them during dives. They are used to them and can sense when they are coming loose. It certainly seems easier (to me) to hold the regulator in the mouth.

    If you dive without your dentures, you will probably need to use the Manta mouthpiece or the ComfoBite. Neither requires teeth to hold them in place.

    Removable partial dentures are usually well anchored and shouldn't be a problem...with the exception of a one toothed or Nesbitt partial denture. These are rather small with one or two sharp metal clasps. Should one of these babies escape, not only might they be aspirated, the metal clasps may make removal difficult to impossible.

    Some words of warning though...
    .....You might want to keep a spare or duplicate denture handy...especially the upper. If you lose you denture underwater, you won't be looking to pretty when you surface. The probability is directly proportional to how far away from home you are, the cost of the denture and the cost of your dive trip....Murphy's Law, denture corollary.

    Biting on the bite tabs with a denture might break the denture...see my advice in the last paragraph.

    Consider the use of a denture adhesive even if you normally don't need one.

    Now, enjoy your diving! Contact me if you have any questions.

    DandyDon...now I know why you look so purdy!

    Laurence Stein, DDS
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    I have a full upper plate and use wafers for adhesion. I did an intro to scuba class on Saturday (with dentures) and, well, if I wasn't hooked on diving before, I am now!

    But I have to ask if, when diving with dentures, there are regulators that are more comfortable than others? I kept having to hold it in my mouth, not because of the dentures, but because the regulator felt like it was pulling out every time I turned my head. I noticed, however, when I got home, my gums were rather sore from gripping the regulator.

    Ideas, thoughts, suggestions?

    Thanks in advance from this old fart newbie,

    LSF

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    DandyDon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by latestartfish View Post
    I have a full upper plate and use wafers for adhesion. I did an intro to scuba class on Saturday (with dentures) and, well, if I wasn't hooked on diving before, I am now!

    But I have to ask if, when diving with dentures, there are regulators that are more comfortable than others? I kept having to hold it in my mouth, not because of the dentures, but because the regulator felt like it was pulling out every time I turned my head. I noticed, however, when I got home, my gums were rather sore from gripping the regulator.

    Ideas, thoughts, suggestions?

    Thanks in advance from this old fart newbie,

    LSF
    I've used a Manta mouth piece for years: Manta Bite, a Revolutionary Scuba Mouthpiece :: Dive with a Manta :: Manta-bite.com

    My home bud doesn't wear appliances, but still had issues with regular mouthpieces until he got a SeaCure: Seacure Mouthpiece @ Divers-Supply.com It helped with his air consumption a lot after he could relax. You may find better prices.

    I have screwed up a couple of times not having enough or fresh enough denture adhesive for a dive. Good to check that before going out in the morning. I travel with one tube in my 3-1-1 bag, two more in checked bags - to make very sure I have plenty even if I lose a tube somewhere, and carry a tube on the boat.
    You can test the tanks you breathe or - dive on hope.
    Testing is safer...


    Great news for vacation divers who cannot talk themselves into buying a personal CO tank tester!

    >> Rent one for a week or longer here <<

    Yeah it's just the air we breath - at depth!


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    dspd204's Avatar
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    I know someone (LOL) that has both upper and lower dentures who dives regularly. "His", uppers have a very good suction and have never caused a problem and, "he", has implanted titanium posts in the bottom jaw to secure the lowers. In most cases, the lower denture is the most problematic (it's like have a horseshoe sitting on your lower jaw) and prior to having the implants done, a good application of adhesive cream did the trick.

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    oldschoolto's Avatar
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    I have both uppers and lowers and don't use or need to glue them in... What you do need to use is a long soft bite mouth piece that fits good in your mouth comfortable.... Don't bite hard as you will get cramps and have a crappy diving day... Never had a problem, But did take a few dives to workout the best mouth piece.... My dive buddy/instructor found me sitting on the bottom of the pool changing mouth pieces and taking my dentures in and out trying to find the best setup...... He almost drowned laughing... You'll be fine...

    Jim...

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    Thanks everyone, for the suggestions and chuckles! DandyDan, I've checked out the sites you noted and I'm sure I can find that one of those will work better than what I had.

    BTW, I was beginning a post last night (I'm a bit of a night owl) and hit the Post Quick Reply button, forgetting about the maintenance thing kicking in at 12:30 a.m. (PST)! Guess the post wasn't received...

    I never cease to be amazed at the wide range of people, with an even wider range of info and skills, who are willing to help new people who are just getting started...

    LSF
    DandyDon likes this.

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