Personal fitness has become big business in the United States. In 2014 alone, over 54 million Americans paid for gym memberships, a figure that has only been rising. Programs like P90x, Insanity, and CrossFit, promise results in less than six weeks by paring high-intensity interval training (HIIT) with powerlifting.
For those who stick to the regimen religiously, many are seeing results, as HIIT ensures that our bodies burn fat quickly while gaining muscle. However, there might be unforeseen complications with programs such as this: tooth damage.
How Can Weightlifting Damage Teeth?
Usually when we talk about oral health we talk about sugar, starch, and plaque. High intensity weight lifting such as one rep maximums or interval training can also be an issue. Many of us have a natural tendency to clench our jaws when under physical duress, and although enamel is the hardest substance in the body, two elements of the same density grinding against one another will cause damage.
Eventually this pressure will wear down your enamel and result in tooth fracturing or even loss of teeth. Worse, this can happen even when we don’t weight lift.
Bruxism or teeth grinding is one of our body’s natural responses to stress, either physical or mental, and can be difficult to self-diagnose because it usually occurs in our sleep. Symptoms such as neck or jaw pain, frequent headaches, or constant tenderness in the jaw could be signs you suffer from clenching.
Along with damage to your teeth, bruxism can also strain your jaw muscles and damage your jaw joints, leading to TMJ or TMJ-like symptoms.
How To Protect Yourself
One of the simplest ways to protect yourself while weightlifting is wearing a mouthguard. Simple over the counter guards may help, but if the problem persists, it could be time to seek out a custom fit mouthguard from your dentist.
If you’re unsure whether you’re in danger, try wearing a simple mouthguard at first, carefully monitor the indentations your teeth make during a session.
Talk With Your Dentist
There is no substitute for scheduling an appointment with your dentist. Your teeth have natural hills and valleys, and grinding wears these down in a very noticeable way. Scheduling regular checkups and cleanings can help you and your dentist spot issues before they become major complications. From bruxism, gum disease, to even sleep apnea, the dentist plays a critical role in our everyday health.
At the office of Dr. Clements, we want to do everything we can to help you stay healthy. To schedule your next appointment with Dr. Clements in Valdosta, GA, please call (229) 245-5511 today.