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Like CrossFit and Weightlifting? You Could Be Killing Your Teeth and TMJ

Listen up CrossFitters and fitness fanatics. Those high intensity, weightlifting exercises you love so much could be putting a real grind on your teeth and TMJ.

Did you know…. U.S. Power Lifter Robert Herbst had a back molar explode due to the pressure he was exerting during his lifts?  He was clenching his teeth together as he was picking up several hundred pounds of weight.  He ended up needing a bone graft and an implant!

At Risk For Irreversible Damage

Sure, the health benefits of CrossFit and high-intensity works are great, but those exercises also put athletes at risk for irreversible damage to the mouth and TMJ.

Here’s why.

Weightlifters use their chest as a brace or as a stopping point when they lift. Air gets trapped in their lungs during this pause and, simultaneously, they clench their jaws. This clenching can force the top of the lower jaw up and back, causing  causing the disc within the TM to be pushed forward. At first, it may be barely noticeable as it is only slight pain and or clicking noise.  After a while though, bad damage can be done to the disc.

Over time, this clenching and grinding will alter the way your mouth bites down, eventually spiraling into a TMJ disorder.

Ways to Protect Your Teeth During a Workout

I recommend wearing a protective mouthguard during workouts.  This protects teeth and enamel when clenching down.

Other ways to prevent clenching during exercise include:

  • Do your lifting in front of a mirror so that you can pay attention to see if you are clenching or not – you will be able to see tension in your face
  • Massage your masseter muscles in between sets and try to relax your face/mouth
  • Try to avoid caffeine prior to your workout, as this leads to additional clenching

When it’s Time to Seek TMJ Treatment

If you’re feeling the symptoms of a TMJ disorder, then you should seek the help as soon as you can. At Pasadena Pain Management, we not only treat the pain and discomfort but also can address the underlying causes to prevent flare-ups in the future.

For more information on how we can help put an end to your TMJ pain, Call Pasadena Pain Management for a free consultation at 627-773-8333 today!

About Pasadena Pain Management

Pasadena Pain Management offers pain management treatment Pasadena, CA. Our office is conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable pain management care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping our patients happy and pain free.