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Symptoms and Signs of Tooth Squeeze

Doctor's Notes on Tooth Squeeze

Tooth squeeze is a condition that occurs often in scuba divers during ascent (coming back to the surface) when air is trapped in a dental filling or cavity. As a person is diving under water, air or gas can enter a cavity or dental filling. When the diver ascends to the surface, that air or gas expands and becomes “trapped,” causing pain. Tooth squeeze is more common in divers who have tooth decay, dental infections, or recent tooth extractions or fillings. Pain may also occur on descent (diving down) due to a “vacuum” effect but this is not common.

Symptoms of tooth squeeze include toothache after diving, bleeding around the gums, or a broken tooth. If symptoms include pain in the face and upper teeth this may be due to sinus squeeze.

Medical Author: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
Medically Reviewed on 3/11/2019

Tooth Squeeze Symptoms

Symptoms of tooth squeeze include:

Pain in the face and upper teeth is more commonly associated with sinus squeeze.

What Your Teeth and Gums Say About Your Health Slideshow

What Your Teeth and Gums Say About Your Health Slideshow

Some studies show that people with gum disease are more likely to have heart disease than those with healthy gums. Researchers aren't sure why that is; gum disease isn't proven to cause other diseases. But it makes sense to take care of your mouth like you do the rest of your body.

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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.