Scuba diving offers many individuals the opportunity to try something. However, if scuba diving becomes part of your routine, then you may be placing added stress on your jaw joints. If you scuba dive frequently, then you most likely may have already experienced TMJ symptoms. The symptoms can vary from slight inflammation to intense pain. It is difficult to avoid TMJ symptoms if you scuba dive often since a large amount of stress is constantly placed on your jaw area. However, there are ways that you can lessen the intensity and frequency of these symptoms. Fortunately, there are a few mouthpiece tips that you can use to get control over your TMJ when diving.
Customize Your Mouthpiece as Much as Possible
The stress that you experience when diving can be alleviated if you take the time to get a mouthpiece that fits. Using a mouthpiece that is too loose forces you to bite down harder and use more of your jaw muscles. On the other hand, using a mouthpiece that is too small will make it difficult to get a good grip. This also results in you stressing your jaw joints much more than is needed. A mouthpiece that is specially crafted to fit the bite and shape of your mouth requires very little additional stress to use. Therefore, it is important to get your mouthpiece customized to fit your mouth as much as possible. It is worth the additional cost and will save your mouth the pain and stress in the future.
Be Aware of Your Bite While Diving
While you dive, it may be difficult to remember to breath correctly let alone practice how you bit down on your mouthpiece. However, how hard you bite down and the force you use can ease the amount of stress placed on your jaw. You should practice wearing and biting down on your mouthpiece while outside the water. Practice this while you are distracted so you can get a good idea as to how much force you use. Loosening up your grip will result in less pain. The familiar that you become with your mouthpiece the easier it will be for you to use a looser grip while diving. In addition, you can try drinking calming teas if the stress results in a tighter grip.
TMJ is not something that you want to have to deal with following each dive. Therefore, use these tips to help ease your struggles with TMJ.