Rhinologic and oral-maxillofacial complications from scuba diving: a systematic review with recommendations

Diving Hyperb Med. 2018 Jun 30;48(2):79-83. doi: 10.28920/dhm48.2.79-83.


Rhinologic and oral maxillofacial complications from scuba diving are common, representing approximately 35% of head and neck pathology related to diving. We performed a systematic and comprehensive literature review on the pathophysiology, diagnosis, and treatment of rhinologic and oral maxillofacial pathology related to diving. This included complications due to sinus barotrauma, barodontalgia, odontocrexis, temporomandibular joint dysfunction, partially dentulous patients, and considerations for patients following major head and neck surgery. Of 113 papers accessed, 32 were included in the final synthesis. We created a succinct summary on each topic that should inform clinical decision making by otolaryngologists, dive medicine specialists and primary care providers when faced with pathology of these anatomic sub-sites.

Keywords: Barotrauma; Dental; ENT; Review article; Rhinolog∗; Treatment.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Barotrauma*
  • Diving* / adverse effects
  • Diving* / injuries
  • Ear Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Ear Diseases / therapy
  • Humans
  • Paranasal Sinus Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Paranasal Sinus Diseases / therapy
  • Toothache / diagnosis
  • Toothache / therapy