During my leg workout I noticed I was clenching my teeth. I had a heavy load on the lying leg curl machine. I never realized that I did this, and was concerned about the damage caused from clenching and grinding my teeth during exercise. Do you clench your teeth, also?
Heavy strength training can put a lot of stress on the body, as well as your teeth from clenching or grinding.
Do you Clench or Grind your teeth
Four time Mr. Olympia Jay Cutler with a mouthguard.
You may not clench your teeth from other activities, or have bruxism, which is a common health condition that causes you to grind and clench your teeth (even in sleep), but you may be doing this during a strenuous workout. This type of clenching and grinding is from the strain of training with excessive weights. Or, you may have found yourself doing this with light weights, as well.
Any strength training that causes you to clench, or grind your teeth can cause problems with your teeth in the long run. Clenching or grinding is one of the culprits behind temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJD), cold and heat sensitivity, sore jaws, chipping and stress fractures in the teeth. Stress fractures are caused by chronic trauma, not just one strong blow, and go through stages. The teeth tend to show increasingly aggravated symptoms usually correlated to the depth of the stress fracture.
Permanent Damage to Teeth
Your teeth are meant to last a lifetime, but can be damaged permanently from this type of strained teeth clenching and grinding. It can also cause jaw misalignment which lessens strength.
During strength training, or other exercise, it's important to take care of your entire body, including your teeth. Oral hygiene is a priority, as well as the use of a mouthguard for clenching and grinding. If you don’t want to use a mouthguard be aware of your teeth clenching or grinding, and try to minimize it as much as possible.