Health & Fitness

Keep reading: Mouthguards are a must when lifting weights

Susy WulfApril 5, 20223 mins read

For contact sports like football, rugby or MMA, you may not even think twice about purchasing a mouthguard. Regular olaEUR(tm), barbell swingers? According to strength and conditioning coaches and dentists, anyone who lifts weights (i.e. Powerlifters, CrossFit fans, Olympic lifters and boot camp baddies should have a mouthguard when lifting weights.

Protect your mouth with a mouthguard

aEURoeThe vast majority of people who lift their teeth with maximum intensity do so according to Jeffrey S. Haddad of the Michigan Center for TMJ & Sleep Wellness.

This isn’t a form error, he says. It’s an intentional move that can increase power output. He notes that athletes can access more strength and power by clenching, according to aEURoeResearch.

However, clenching can cause damage to your teeth and muscles, as well as your jaw, jaw, neck, and face.

Haddad says that aEURoeA can protect teeth from the force of clenching. It can also balance the bite of a personaEUR(tm), so that clenching can be reduced.

What happens if you donaEUR(tm),t wear a mouthguard when you lift?

You may have severe dental problems.

You could be causing serious damage by clenching your teeth while you are exercising. Dr. Angelique Freking, Park Slope Dental’s general and cosmetic dentist, says that fractured teeth, eroded and strain headaches could all be signs of going barebones.

She explained that the oral barrier absorbs some force and reduces the risk of injury.

AEURoeIndividuals that grind their teeth at work or in bed are more likely to sustain injury from clenching while exercising, she said. Why? Their enamel may already be weakened.

A mouthguard is not necessary, but it can have an adverse effect on your training performance.

Mouthguards can do more than protect your teeth. They can also help you achieve a personal record. HereaEUR(tm)s how.

1. They remind you to eat

Mouthguards can be used to remind the body to eat while it lifts.

A 2015 study showed that lifting athletes who used a mouthguard felt more powerful and less burdened than those who did not.

2. They are designed to support the jaw position

Mouthguards make sure that you’re not biting too hard.

Haddad says that aEURoeMouthguards can help to position your jaw in a supported place. And lifting [and clenching] when your jaw is in the right place is extraordinarily beneficial.

He says that lifting a jaw with its nonsupported position is similar to lifting with a displaced leg.

Just like your hips can function best when they are aligned correctly, so the body will also function optimally when the jaw is properly placed, aEUR he said.

3. They make it easier for you to breathe.

Haddad says that it’s easier to inhale when your jaw is aligned correctly. It opens your airways.

This doesn’t really apply to one-rep maxes. The payoff for volume sets is huge.

Where and how to find a mouthguard when lifting?

If you lift frequently and share your information with your dentist, they will likely recommend a guard without prompting. The American Dental Association now recommends that all athletes wear a mouthguard.

Haddad says that most dentists will recommend a custom fit mouthguard. aEURoeMouthguards made from exact molds of the person’s teeth are precisely fitted to provide maximum comfort and optimal benefits.

These guards have one major drawback: depending on your insurance, they can cost you anywhere from $200 to $1000. Your dentist can pair you up with an alternative if this is not within your budget.

The bottom line: Protecting your jaw and teeth while lifting is as important as protecting your neck and back while lifting.

Susy Wulf
author

Susy Wulf is a journalist, copywriter, editor and journalist. She has a BA degree in English from Monmouth University, and a MA in Global Communications (American University of Paris).

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