Breaking Your Teeth While Breaking a Sweat: Did You Break a Tooth in the Gym?

Posted on: 14 January 2020

If you regularly go to the gym to lift weights, you might find that you sometimes clench your jaw while lifting heavy weights. Unfortunately, while clenching your teeth might seem to help, it does more damage than good. The only thing you are likely to achieve is a broken tooth. If this happens, it is only a matter of time before infection attacks the broken tooth.

But doesn't clenching help when lifting weights?

Clenching Is Unnecessary When Lifting Weights

If you clench your teeth while lifting, then you are not lifting in the right manner. You probably clench your teeth for one of two reasons. First, when you try to lift too much weight, you may naturally clench your jaw in order to complete the range of motion. And secondly, if you are lifting with bad form, you might also clench your jaw. Either way, you will eventually break a tooth.

What happens when you break a tooth while lifting?

The Tooth Could Fall Prey to Infection

A small breakage, such as a chip or small crack, isn't a dental emergency. This is because the damage doesn't extend into the dentin layer of the tooth. In other words, your enamel, which is harder than bone, still protects the underlying layer of tooth and the nerve inside the tooth. However, if you broke a cusp or cracked your tooth severely, infection might occur in just a few hours.

Oral bacteria only need a tiny doorway into a tooth to cause infection. And once infection occurs, the nerve inside the tooth will probably die within hours or days. At that point, you'll need a root canal to remove the infection, as well as restorative dental treatment, such as a dental crown or a filling.

Emergency Repair Can Prevent Infection

Examine your broken tooth. Is a large portion of the tooth missing? Does it hurt to bite down on the tooth? Then you probably need emergency repair to seal the tooth before infection can set in. If the damage is severe—for example, if you have lost a large chunk of tooth—then you probably need a dental crown. A dental crown can cover a small portion of the tooth or all of the tooth.

However, if the damage is minor, your dentist can fill the tooth. This will seal it and prevent bacteria from gaining entry. Even after you have repaired the tooth, however, you still need to address your clenching habit. Either reduce the amount of weight you lift, or wear a mouth guard to protect your teeth from further damage while you lift.

To learn more, contact a dental office like Montmorency Dental Group.