I had a severe split lip after enduring a maximum dose of radiation for oral cancer. HBOT or Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy was recommended to heal the area and improve vascularity in my lower jaw for future dental complications which I was guaranteed to have. To my great relief, during treatments, my lip finally began to heal. Six years later, I needed an extraction of a molar. Because I had received 28 dives of hyperbaric oxygen, they didn’t hesitate to perform the extraction. However, I was in pain for a month. My jaw ached. Finally, they ordered 10 more dives of HBOT and after the second dive, the pain was eradicated.
HBOT is a well-established treatment for decompression sickness (a hazard of scuba diving). It increases oxygen in the blood, which promotes healing and fights infection. It has become the mainstream treatment to prevent osteoradionecrosis.
Now, they are discovering new benefits of the treatment. HBOT is not just for invasive dental treatment after radiation to the head and neck. It can diminish symptoms of neck pain, mood swings and concentration problems after a concussion.