Performance Guard

Gym goers who lift weights could be damaging their teeth in the process, according to new research.

A study has found that more than 80% of weightlifters clench their jaw during a workout.

The research found tensing of the jaw and clenching of the teeth while lifting heavy weights can have a detrimental impact on teeth, but only 35% of weightlifters are aware of this.


There were 570 weightlifters surveyed to find out the effects of their training regime and one of the participants explained why this is a habit amongst weightlifters.

Robert Herbst, an 18-time world powerlifting champion said: ‘’ I clench my teeth together very hard when lifting heavy weights. By doing so, it allows me to activate the very strong muscles of my jaw and neck.’’

He recalls a very painful time in his career when the pressure he was applying became too much for his teeth; ‘’my lower right molar exploded under the enormous amount of pressure I was applying to my jaw during a world championship final. The dentist had to pull out the fragments, put a bone graft in my jaw and then, put in an implant.’’

Dentist and regular lifter, Samantha Sacchetti added that "as someone who both lifts weights and sees the teeth of people who lift weights, teeth grinding and jaw clenching (also known as bruxism) during tasks of strength is a real phenomenon."

Her recommendation for combatting this habit is to have a "custom-made mouth guard mouth guard which cushions the impact and prevents the teeth from touching."

Below are the effects of bruxism.