Protecting Teeth from Swimmer’s Calculus

Swimmer's calculus is caused by too much exposure to chlorine.

Summertime is here! School is out, so let the vacations begin! Hot valley summers mean long afternoons at the nearest pool, either in your backyard or somewhere else in your neighborhood. But did you know that it’s important to protect your teeth from chlorine, just as it’s important to protect your skin from the sun?

What’s Swimmer’s Calculus?

When teeth are exposed to chlorinated water for long periods of time, it’s possible to develop a condition commonly called “swimmer’s calculus.” Chlorine stains teeth by turning them yellow or brown. Fortunately, this is generally a problem only if you spend six or more hours in the pool per week.

Fixing Swimmer’s Calculus

If you notice that your teeth have yellowed more than usual and you have been spending a lot of time in the pool, let our Yuba City dentists know. Removing the stains is easy with in-office procedures at the Yuba City Dentistry Group. Our family dentists also have the following tips to help you avoid swimmer’s calculus and keep your mouth healthy this summer:

  • If you have a pool at home, check the chlorine levels regularly. Over-chlorinated pools can damage teeth, stripping the enamel and causing tooth sensitivity.
  • Shower off after swimming to remove any residual chlorine and rinse out your mouth as well.
  • Prevent mouth injuries in the pool by making safety a priority. If you or your children play water polo or water volleyball regularly, experts recommend a custom mouthguard to protect your mouth from injuries.
  • Orthodontic retainers are often lost during summer vacation. Remove retainers before swimming to prevent loss and damage from chlorinated water.

Following these tips will help you avoid any dental problems commonly caused during water activities.

Another Swimming Problem

“Tooth squeeze,” also known as barodontalgia or “flyer’s tooth,” affects divers and snorkelers when they swim in deep water. Pressure increases with depth, causing air to contract. It also expands as you rise from depths. So if air inside a tooth expands after contracting, it may create nerve pain, and has the potential to damage fillings and other restorations. While it’s unlikely you will experience this problem in an ordinary pool, diving pools are much deeper and may cause this phenomenon. If you experience this issue, especially in teeth with restorations, our dentists are happy to check for likely causes and determine what solutions will correct the problem so you can continue swimming and diving.

So enjoy escaping the heat of our Sacramento Valley summers with swimming, but keep your mouth healthy with help from the our Yuba City dentists!

Yuba City Dentistry
ernst@gfxservices.com
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