Athletic Mouthguards; Does YOUR Sport Need One?

Photographed: Jason Hoggan, Regional CrossFit and Games Athlete for CrossFit Deep Ellum and Power and Grace Performance.

Photographed: Jason Hoggan, Regional CrossFit and Games Athlete for CrossFit Deep Ellum and Power and Grace Performance.

Do you look like this when you are working out? Well, while it is unlikely that we all resemble this alpha male amidst a workout, there is a high probability that we share one commonality with this man of muscle, and that is that we clench our teeth when under the stress of exercise.

Many patients report sensitivity in their teeth or discomfort in their jaws, and think they just have sensitive teeth or have TMJ (temporomandibular joint). First off, everyone has a TMJ; it is a joint, part of our anatomy, but when you have pain localized to this area, it is termed TMD (temporomandibular disorder). In reality, the patients reporting this discomfort are clenching or grinding. This can be at night (nocturnal), or during the day (diurnal). Your dentist can examine you, ask you a series of questions and determine if you have a parafunctional habit. If it is nocturnal, a night guard can be fabricated to eliminate it, but diurnal habits require some retraining and protection. Your dentist can discuss behavior modification techniques and may suggest a mouthguard for wear during your most vigorous workout routines. See your dentist or call us at Katy Trail Dental to be evaluated for an appliance to help your teeth last a lifetime!

Currently, the American Dental Association highly recommends custom mouthguards for acrobatics, football, martial arts, skiing, volleyball, basketball, gymnastics, racquetball, skydiving, water polo, boxing, handball, rugby, soccer, weight lifting, discus, ice hockey, shot putting, squash wrestling, field hockey, lacrosse, skateboarding and surfing, among other sports, for prevention and protection.

Author: Dr. Dominique Fufidio, owner and dentist, Katy Trail Dental, Dallas, TX. Weight lifter for CrossFit Deep Ellum and Deep Barbell Club, as well as dentist to CrossFit Deep members.