No more scuba dry mouth!!
It’s very likely that most scuba divers have experienced a dry mouth when diving. But how do you prevent a dry mouth while scuba diving? Let’s take a closer look…
How to prevent dry mouth while scuba diving in 15 seconds…
Whilst the cause of scuba dry mouth is down to breathing dry compressed air through your mouth, it can be prevented. Examples of how to prevent a dry mouth when scuba diving includes: Keeping well hydrated by drinking plenty of water; avoid drinking excessive amounts of caffeine and alcohol; Being aware of the diuretic effect of any medication you’re taking; swilling some water in your mouth when diving; or diving with a full face dive mask so you can breath through your nose. instead of your mouth.
What causes dry mouth during scuba diving?
The cause of a dry mouth when scuba diving is mostly as a result of breathing dry compressed air. The compressed air that divers breath underwater has the water vapour removed when the air is compressed into scuba cylinders. But additionally, scuba divers breath air through their mouth rather than their nose. It is the combination of the ‘mouth-breathing’ and the dry air that causes scuba dry mouth.
Conversely, when we breath atmospheric air out of the water it is the presence of this water vapour that helps to moisturise our breath. But unless you have a blocked nose due to a cold, you’ll breath through your nose in any event. It’s extremely likely that at some stage in your life you’ve woken up in the morning with a cold and a blocked nose to find your mouth is extremely dry. This is due to the fact you’ve breathed with your mouth open through-out the night.
How to prevent dry mouth while scuba diving
The are a number of ways in which you can prevent scuba dry mouth when diving. These include the following:
- Drink plenty of water before you dive: Hydration and diving go hand in hand. It’s important to keep well hydrated for other safety reasons when scuba diving, not least to help prevent against decompression sickness. However, being fully hydrated when scuba diving will help to prevent a dry mouth.
- Avoid drinking excessive amounts of alcohol before diving: Alcohol can dehydrate you and should be avoided when you’re diving in any event. If you’re dehydrated, you’re much more likely to get a dry mouth when scuba diving.
- Avoid excessive amounts of caffeine in coffee and other similar caffeine-rich drinks: Caffeine is a diuretic and will dehydrate you before a dive.
- Be aware of the diuretic affect of certain drugs: Certain medications are diuretic also. Whilst you may not be able to avoid taking your drugs, you should be aware of their diuretic effect and drink plenty of water before your dive. But always consult your doctor before scuba diving if you are on any type of medication.
- Swill a small amount of water in your mouth when diving: To do this you first need to remove your regulator or mouthpiece from mouth. Then suck in small amount of water and swish it around in your mouth. Spit the water out and replace your regulator back into your mouth.
- Use a full-face dive mask: Full face dive masks allow you to breath through your nose instead, or your nose and mouth. This will be similar to breathing on land, except the air will still be dry compressed air. But you are less likely to get a dry mouth scuba diving with a full face mask.
- Change your regulator: Some argue that a different regulator will help with dry mouth too. For example, some swear by the Sherwood Maximus regulator to help with scuba dry mouth.
Swallowing water when scuba diving
In tip five above I mention about swilling a small amount of water in your mouth by taking your regulator or mouthpiece from your mouth. However, if you try this technique make sure not to swallow the water, especially if your diving in the sea, as salt water isn’t good to swallow.
I hope you enjoyed this article about how to prevent dry mouth while scuba diving
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Have fun and be safe!