Clenching: A Football Game Watcher's Hazard And How To Avoid It

If you are a serious football fan, you may be waiting on pins and needles for your favorite team's next game to air. Nevertheless, even though you may spend the game on your couch, your teeth may be suffering throughout the duration of the event. Here is one reason that teeth can be damaged during a stressful football game and what you can do to counteract any negative effects.

Clenching Your Teeth

Football games can be stressful to watch, especially when your favorite team is playing. Many fans tend to clench their teeth tightly during the most intense plays of a game. This clenching may relieve some of the stress that the fans feel, but it can also damage their teeth.

As pressure is transferred from the clenched jaws to the teeth, the teeth of the top and bottom palate are pressed so firmly together that cracks can develop in the teeth. A crack in the enamel, which is the outermost layer of a tooth, may simply be repaired with bonding material. However, deep cracks that invade the dentin of a tooth may require covering by a dental crown for greater reinforcement and protection of the tooth structure. If the crack completely divides a tooth into multiple parts through the root of a tooth, the tooth must be extracted.

Avoiding the Damage

Still, damage to the teeth could be circumvented by avoiding the clenching during the game. Instead of clenching your teeth when a player almost fumbles or whenever the score is tied, chew a stick of gum. The chewing can help release tension and improve the health of your teeth at the same time.

Chewing gum helps your salivary glands release copious amounts of saliva to dilute acid in your mouth before it causes tooth decay. It can also help pull plaque and food from your teeth for a cleaner mouth. Additionally, if the gum is cinnamon-flavored or xylitol-sweetened, it may also help kill oral bacteria, such as Streptococcus mutans, which can cause decay.

It is best to place a stick of gum in your mouth at the start of the game, so it is already handy. As an added benefit, the gum can also deter you from munching on starchy or sweet snacks throughout the game that could incite decay.

To learn more ways to protect your teeth during your favorite pastimes, schedule an appointment with a dentist in your area such as Edens Greg DMD.