Weight lifting has evolved over the last 100 years as the sport and exercise became increasingly popular. It was first introduced as a sport in the 1896 Olympics and since then has become a staple around the world for athletes after becoming its own event in the 1920 Olympics. There are many different forms of weightlifting but the most popular seems to be powerlifting in which the lifter competes in lifting the heaviest weights in three lifting exercises – the deadlift, the squat, and the weight bench. With weightlifting evolving through the years, so has the equipment and safety precautions that have followed. Powerlifting in particular can be dangerous if you aren’t using proper techniques or safety equipment including mouthguards.
Here are 10 reasons why you need to wear a mouthguard during powerlifting:
1. Powerlifting Mouthguards Can Help Prevent Headaches from Intense Jaw Clenching
Your jaw muscles are some of the strongest in your body. Providing a powerful force when eating food or clenching your teeth when weight lifting. Intense clenching can lead to painful headaches as the tension on your teeth extends up into your head. Repeated clenching of your jaw can lead to recurring headaches after weight lifting. When powerlifters work out they often clench their jaws as their bodies react to the heavy weights they’re lifting. Wearing a custom-fitting mouthguard will help relieve your jaw of tension as your teeth won’t be directly pressing against each other. Your jaw will thank you and the mouthguard will help prevent weightlifting headaches.
2. Protect Your Mouth and Teeth in the Worst Situations
You’ve seen the videos on YouTubes or perhaps witnessed them in person, or even worse experienced it yourself. Powerlifting is an intense form of exercise on the body and it can sometimes be too much for the body to process resulting in the lifter passing out from your heart not being able to pump enough blood to your brain.
Passing out during weight lifting is one of the most dangerous situations to be in specifically because of the environment around you. Dumbbells, benches, iron bars, and large weights might be scattered around and you won’t be able to control your body when passing out sometimes resulting in the lifter crashing head first. With a mouthguard, your teeth will be much more protected against the worst of collisions. Without a mouthguard, you may suffer chipped or broken teeth, or lose a few altogether. There are even worse stories of weightlifters biting their tongue sometimes completely off when passing out. A mouthguard won’t prevent you from passing out but it will protect you when you consciously can’t. The mouthguard will protect you from serious harm and it will also protect your wallet from costly mouth or jaw repairs.
3. Protection From Grinding Your Teeth
Grinding your teeth is a relatively common problem that millions of people, not just weight lifters deal with. Teeth-Grinding can occur during the day, when you sleep, or during intense workouts. Stress is a big cause of teeth-grinding and you might even catch yourself grinding your teeth at the gym as you think about your next big lift. Over time, teeth grinding can damage your teeth by wearing them down and weakening them. With a mouthguard, your teeth are protected whether you catch yourself grinding your teeth or not. It’s not just your teeth that are affected by the grinding but your gums and jaw too. With enough grinding over time, your face can even change its structure as your jawbones are pushed forward.
You’ve read so far about clenching your jaw and the dangers of teeth-grinding during weight lifting. These are symptoms of intense reactions from the body during lifting but they are also symptoms of stress. Your body will clench up or you’ll start to grind your teeth with the stress and anxiety of everyday life. Where do you go to blow off steam? If you’re a weight lifter, chances are it’s the gym. Weight lifting can be soothing to many as it’s part of their routine or a safe haven for them. While lifting, you may begin to uncork the issues that have been bothering you throughout the day resulting in teeth-grinding or clenching. A mouthguard is soft with a rubber feel perfect for grinding. Grinding on a mouthguard is much more stress-relieving than grinding on your teeth, not to mention much less damaging to your body. Use your mouthguard for grinding, not your teeth!
5. Your Strength Will Be At Maximum Power
A new study from Marquette University has found that clenching your jaws during weight-lifting can maximize your strength and power by as much as 10 percent. When a lifter who uses a mouthguard clenches their jaw not only are they protected, but they are exerting an extra outlet of power from their body that can help break their personal records, push through on those tough grind days, and power past the competition. Clenching is a natural force from the body so it makes sense that it adds power to your lift, but the responsible thing to do is protect yourself with the proper equipment and that means wearing a custom-fitting mouthguard to prevent damage to your teeth and jaw.
Just like with gloves and lifting belts, mouthguards are essential to the powerlifter as they take their skills to the next level.
There are a variety of walls that weight lifters need to break down to take their skill to the next level. One of them is the breathing technique for a full-force push. Keeping your lungs filled with fresh air is vital not only to avoid passing out but to keep your muscles refreshed for continuing the lift. A mouthguard can properly keep your tongue in place as well as your jaws to allow for a clearer airway as oxygen is inhaled through your mouth. Lifters can shorten their workouts without a mouthguard as they are likely to gas out earlier than those with mouthguards. Proper airways mean more oxygen to keep your muscles in top shape while you continue your workout.
7. Extreme Force On Your Teeth Can Result In Cracked Teeth
Powerlifters are extreme athletes by nature. They push their bodies to the limit resulting in some incredible feats from the human body. This extreme nature results in lifters exerting a powerful force on their teeth. This isn’t teeth grinding or jaw clenching, this is cracking your teeth. With enough force applied when teeth collide as the lifters lock their jaws, teeth can begin to crack which can be very painful and even more costly. If not treated right away, the cracked teeth can become infected resulting in even more dental costs. A mouthguard will provide a layer of protection against the powerful force of your teeth colliding.
You’re probably thinking to yourself how can a mouthguard prevent your muscles from being injured? No, mouthguards won’t prevent injury to your arm or leg muscles but it will help prevent injuries to your mouth muscles. Lifters are naturally going to clench their mouths which can damage the bones but it also has a costly effect on the muscles of the jaw. Have you ever suffered from a mouth cramp? It hurts! The cramp can also keep your mouth shut for a few minutes and leave the muscles fatigued from the cramp. A mouthguard will help protect the muscles as well as the bones as the mouth is worked throughout the workout.
9. Show Your Brand With Powerlifting Mouthguards
Sporting Smiles makes custom athletic mouthguards for all types of athletes. Our custom mouthguards fit perfectly for each athlete but they can also be customized on the outside to represent you. Do you have a nickname in the gym? Ask Sporting Smiles to put it on the front of the mouth guard. Want a certain color scheme or logo placed on your mouthguard? No problem. Sporting Smiles can place any logo or color mix to make you and your brand stand out from the competition. If you are part of a team of weightlifters or belong to a gym we can even put the gym or team logo on your mouthguard.
10. Stay Safe and Prevent Costly Injuries
By now you know of all the dangers that can occur from weight lifting and powerlifting. Perhaps, a few of these injuries have happened to you so you know how costly they can be to have your oral injuries treated at your dentist. With Sporting Smiles, we offer a protection solution for your mouth and your wallet. Lift safely with a mouthguard and help protect your wallet from costly injuries that could sideline you from your passion.
What mouthguard do you need for protection during weight lifting? Sporting Smiles recommends our 3mm custom-fit mouthguard that is tight enough for protection but comfortable to allow proper airflow into your lungs while exercising.