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Jaw fatigue is a common problem for scuba divers, particularly people new to scuba diving. Beginner divers who are not yet familiar with the dive experience will often clench their jaw tight to keep a strong grip on their mouthpiece. Unfortunately, this results in not only jaw fatigue but also tension headaches and other unwanted pain and discomfort.
In other cases, divers may grip their mouthpiece too tight because it feels like the regulator wants to pull out of their mouth when they turn their heads to look around. This can either be a result of not being comfortable or familiar with the scuba gear or it can also be due to the BCD being positioned too high or too low on the scuba tank, which causes a shorter hose length.
If you experience jaw fatigue during or after a dive, here are two things you can try that may help alleviate that problem and help you relax during a dive.
1. Replace Your Mouthpiece
While traditional mouthpieces are usually already ergonomically shaped to fit the average person’s mouth, it simply may not be the best fit for you. An ill-fitting mouthpiece creates unnatural jaw positioning to hold the mouthpiece in place and makes it virtually impossible to relax underwater.
There are a variety of mold-able mouthpieces available that help you customize the mouthpiece for a much more natural and comfortable fit without you having to work at it. Below are some examples.
Seacure X Type Mouthpiece
This unique moldable mouthpiece by Seacure, model X Type, is compatible with many regulators and snorkels. Designed to precisely fit the individual diver’s mouth, teeth, gums, and jaw configuration, this new X shaped profile eliminates jaw fatigue by reducing bulk, eliminating gagging, and providing maximum support of the regulator.
Trident Comfort Bite Mouthpiece
Designed with roof of mouth bridge and rolled edges, this comfort bite mouthpiece by Trident is a popular option for long dives. When you relax your mouth and jaw, the roof of your mouth helps this mouthpiece stay in place. Made from hypoallergenic material and compatible with many scuba diving regulators, this mouthpiece is ultra comfortable and can help reduce/eliminate jaw fatigue caused by other uncomfortable mouthpieces.
Mares JAX Custom Fit Mouthpiece
This custom fit JAX mouthpiece by Mares uses innovative technology from the dental industry to provide the ultimate in custom-fitting your mouthpiece. You immerse the mouthpiece in boiling water for a few seconds, shake off the excess water, and bite down on it to imprint your specific bite. You can repeat the process as often as you need to.
2. Add A 360º Swivel to Your Regulator
If replacing your mouthpiece still doesn’t cure your jaw fatigue, you may want to try adding a 360 degree swivel to your scuba regulator if it doesn’t already have one.
A 360 degree regulator swivel attaches between the 2nd stage and the regulator’s low pressure hose. The swivel will give you greater flexibility and freedom in movement so that no matter which direction you turn your head, you won’t get that pulling feeling on your mouthpiece.
Note: If you add a swivel adapter to your regulator, be sure to regularly check for air leaks.
Scuba Choice 360-Degree Swivel Adapter
For a good diving experience, you should be comfortable and your equipment should be set up properly. Try either a custom-fitted mouthpiece or a 360º regulator swivel to help reduce tension in your jaw during your dive, and remember to relax and have fun!