There are plenty of reasons for participating in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu: health, community, self-defense and self-esteem to name a few. However, it’s important to know the risks that this sport brings with it, especially when it comes to oral health. In other words, if you practice Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, keep a close eye on your pearly whites.
Teeth Grinding is a Major Concern
Chokes put an enormous amount of pressure on your jaw and your teeth. Ideally, a choke will be a quick affair that lasts only a few seconds by cutting off blood flow, according to Breaking Muscle. Ideal situations are not common, though, and chokes can go wrong. Especially if your opponents are not well trained, a misplaced choke can cause your teeth to grind against each other. Over time, this can be just as damaging as regularly grinding your teeth during your sleep.
Knocked-Out Teeth Are No Joke
Rolling may have long stretches of relatively little movement, but sudden bursts of action are just as common. During these times, forceful impacts to the mouth often occur, and it’s not too difficult for a tooth to be knocked out. In addition to gum disease, missing teeth can cause problems that threaten your success in BJJ. Teeth play an important role in jawbone and facial strength, according to South Temple Dental. The more gaps you have, the weaker your jaw becomes, which can be a major weakness in BJJ and MMA. Dentists can certainly help fix missing teeth so that they look better, but regular visits to the dentist also allow an expert to evaluate oral health and provide guidance and products to ensure no serious problems develop.
What Dentists Do
Prevention is just as important as treatment after the fact. If you lose a tooth, go to the dentist, but be sure to schedule regular visits as well. Telling your dentist that you participate in BJJ or MMA is an excellent idea because it lets him or her know to look for signs of wear. You may need to wear a mouthguard like these ones by Impact Custom Mouth Guards, or work on ways to avoid certain chokes depending on your dentist’s advice.
Oral health is incredibly important, and it should not be neglected. If you participate in BJJ, you need to be sure to exercise good dental hygiene, including regular trips to a dentist. Sticking with a routine will help you treat and prevent the common risks associated with this sport.
When participating in BJJ, it’s important to not only keep up with your dental health but also your physical health. Check out this article on how to mitigate post-roll soreness!