Athletic Mouthguards

Should I Wear a Mouth Guard for Weight Lifting?

Should I Wear a Mouth Guard for Weight Lifting?

This article has been medically reviewed and verified by Dr. Lara Coseo (DDS, FAGD) as of 6/23/2020. She is a 2004 graduate of Baylor College of Dentistry in Dallas, TX. Having practiced general dentistry for 13 years, Dr. Lara currently serves as an Associate Professor at Texas A&M College of Dentistry.

Best Mouth Guard for Weight Lifting

mouth guard for weight lifting While not so many strength athletes (especially weight lifters) like using mouth guards when training or competing, it turns out these mouthpieces are very valuable for any weightlifter. Although many people think mouth guards are only important in contact sports – like wrestling, American football, boxing, and martial arts – dental experts think otherwise.

In fact, the American Dental Association (ADA) recommends the use of mouth guards for 29 sports, including the ones mentioned above, plus: weightlifting, handball, basketball, and acrobatics among others.

Data from research by the National Youth Sports Foundation shows that strength athletes are sixty times more likely to suffer a tooth (or teeth) damage when they are not wearing protective mouth guards – weightlifting being among the strength sports.

The importance of wearing a protective mouth guard when training or competing cannot be underestimated. Read on to find out more about the benefits of using a mouth guard as a weightlifter and how can easily order a custom fit online.

 
sentinel athletic mouth guard for weight lifting
Sentinel Athletic Mouth Guard available in a variety of colors and thicknesses. You decide which thickness is right for you. Colors available: clear, white, black, pink, purple, green, blue, red, orange. Split colors are also available (as pictured)

Why exactly would one use a mouth guard for weight lifting?

A recent study by the Bloorview Macmillan Children’s Center shows that the most frequent orofacial injuries athletes incur when practicing sports are dental injuries.

Besides teeth injuries which may cause loss of teeth; blows on the chin or any strong impact on the base of the jaws or skull may cause a serious fracture or a concussion. Experts advise that athletes can significantly prevent these types of injuries by using protective mouth guards.

Dr. Ann Sagalyn, a dentist and Vice President of Avon Village Family Dentistry says that a lot of weightlifters suffer dental injuries because of the teeth-grinding and gritting they do when lifting.

When they don’t wear protective mouthpieces, the grinding and gritting can result in injuries in the enamel, pulp, cementum, or any other parts of the teeth. Dr. Sagalyn explains that when a substance as strong and hard as a tooth grinds against a substance with similar hardness and strength, chances are, there will be some damage. The clenching that occurs when weightlifters are in action results in a tooth-to-tooth action that may cause holes, cracks, or even worse: damage to the teeth or the jaws.

Dr. Vastardis, a New York-based dentist and member of the International Academy for Sports Dentistry adds that: if a weightlifter does not wear a protective mouth guard, the clenching and grinding may cause gum recession, teeth fractures, weakened facial muscles, and even cause headaches after training or competing.

The pressure from the clenching can also wear down and crack the enamel, causing holes in the teeth which may be painful. Again, with time, the small holes may turn into full-blown cavities that may lead to teeth loss.

 

clear mouth guard for weightlifting A concussion is the most serious and possibly fatal orofacial injury an athlete can suffer.

While concussions are more likely to happen in contact sports, strength athletes like weightlifters are also at risk of falls that may result in concussions. Without a protective mouth guard, the trauma resulting from the jaws jarring together violently may cause an impact on the base of the skull, leading to a concussion.

While mild concussions may have less severe effects like headaches, loss of consciousness or memory – which may last from a few minutes to a few weeks – more serious concussions can result in severe problems. These dangerous, long-lasting and potentially career-ending problems include having trouble with movement, speaking, or reading.

As a weightlifter, you can prevent all the above risks by using a mouth guard whenever you are training or competing. You can find simple over-the-counter mouth guards for a few dollars. Better still, you can have one custom-made for you online.

mouth guard for weight lifting benefits

The benefits of using a mouth guard while weight lifting

So having looked at the reasons why you would use a preventative mouth guard for weight lifting, perhaps you now have an idea of the benefits they present to users. For a better understanding, here are the benefits in detail;

Mouth guards act as buffers between the cheeks, the teeth, and the soft lip and tongue tissues. This way they prevent your tissues from bruising and laceration as a result of clenching and grinding during an action.

 

• A preventative mouthpiece protects your opposing teeth, dental braces, or fixed anterior bridgework from seismic contact. This helps you avoid fractures, dislocations, root damage and possible tooth loss.

 

• When using a mouth guard, your mandible is given an elastic and recuperative support that prevents fractures and any other damages to the jaws, especially the lower jaws.

 

• Preventative mouth guards help reduce the risk of suffering a concussion. They act as shock absorbers between the lower and the upper jaws. Without a mouth guard, in case of an accident while in action, like a collision or a fall, your jaws may violently jar together. This may result in a distribution of the impact from the mandible to the base of your skull, causing a concussion.

 

• The reinforcement a mouth guard offers can also help prevent possible neck injuries.

 

• Mouth guards also offer psychological benefits to athletes. Much research shows that athletes feel more confident and they are more aggressive when they have worn a protective mouth guard. For instance, in a recent study by the Journal of Strength and Conditioning (which you can find here) researchers found that athletes wearing a protective mouthpiece had a better control of their cortisol levels than those who had no protective mouthpieces on. Cortisol is a vital steroid that helps in dealing with stress.

One can write an entire book on the importance of using mouth guards in any sporting activity. But as a weightlifter, the risks of not using one and the benefits of using one that have been discussed here should hopefully be enough to show you how vital, and at times, career-saving a mouth guard can be.

Where can you buy a mouth guard online?

Our company, sentinelmouthguards.com offers quality mouth guards at affordable prices, plus free shipping on all orders across the U.S.

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Author

Ashely Notarmaso

Ashely Notarmaso is the author behind the Sentinel Mouth Guard Blog. She is the CEO and founder of Sentinel Mouth Guards, LLC. (Founded in 2012) and has over a decade of experience in the dental field. She has worked as a laboratory technician in several dental laboratories and dental offices in the US. She has written over 70 highly regarded articles on all things mouth guard related. Ashelys long-time work in the dental mouth guard arena and her excellent ability to listen to customer concerns in this often contradictory field has laid the groundwork to explore night guard/mouth guard fabrication in-depth and address real concerns. With the help of her team, she has created a unique fabrication method that promises a great fitting custom oral appliance every time. Amazon’s choice for #1 mouth guard! Visit the online store http://sentinelmouthguards.com

Verified By

Lara Coseo, DDS, FAGD


Baylor College of Dentistry

Dr. Lara Coseo earned her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from Baylor College of Dentistry in 2004, and she was awarded a Fellowship in the Academy of General Dentistry in 2014. Dr. Lara worked in private practice from 2004-2017. She spent one year in a small PPO practice in Texarkana, Texas, over a year at a high-volume DMO practice in Arlington, Texas, and the last 10.5 years in a fee-for-service practice in Prosper, Texas. At Prosper Family Dentistry, she worked for and with her best friend from dental school, Dr. Jill Sentlingar, who built the practice from the ground up in 2004. During her time at Prosper Family Dentistry, Dr. Lara took on roles outside those of a typical associate dentist, including website management, blog writing, and social media management. Dr. Lara retired from private practice in 2017 for medical reasons.