5th March 2018

Hidden Dental Health Risks for Musicians

Last week, we talked about the risks associated with taking part in sports and why you should always wear a custom sports mouthguard. This isn’t the only hobby that can impact your dental health. Not many people know this, but many musicians are more at risk of suffering from dental health problems than none players. Guitarists and drummers can relax, as this doesn’t apply to them, however, those who play wind instruments, brass instruments, string instruments such as the violin, or even piano players might want to take notes. Playing certain musical instruments can have an impact on your dental health, so while it might feel like you’re oversharing, it’s worth letting your dentist know if you’re a musician and they may be able to give you some helpful advice!

How can playing instruments impact your oral health?

There are a number of different things you will need to look out for. The most common complaints include TMJ pain, increased sensitivity, crooked teeth and chipped teeth. Players who decide to get braces may also find it strange as they adjust to playing with braces in their mouth, but this should pass within a few months with regular practice.

How do instruments impact your jaw?

Holding your mouth and jaw in an irregular position for a long period of time can cause problems and pain in your temporomandibular joint (TMJ). If this happens, you will need to speak to your dentist to figure out a way you can continue playing without causing pain.

Violin players may also experience problems with their jaw alignment as they will often use their chin to hold their instrument in place. Over time, this can cause problems with alignment. And finally, some piano players may find that they clench their teeth when concentrating, which can also cause problems with the jaw. If you are suffering from any jaw pain and think it might be linked to your instrument playing, you should book an appointment with your dentist.

How do instruments impact your teeth?

The most obvious injury is chipped teeth related to the instrument hitting the teeth. For wind and brass instrument players, the continual and forceful expulsion of air will subject your teeth to vibrations that can cause increased sensitivity. Regular trips to the dentist to check on the health of your gums, teeth and jaw will be essential to ensuring that you don’t suffer any permanent issues as a result of your playing.

Wind instrument players will often find they have a dry mouth, but your choice of liquid to keep you hydrated can have a huge impact on your teeth. If you regularly reach for fizzy drinks or sugary juices, your teeth will be exposed to acids that can damage your teeth. Always sip on water to keep a dry mouth at bay as the constant exposure to sugary drinks can cause lasting problems with your teeth and gums.

Occasional players are less at risk, but dedicated or professional players are most at risk of damaging their teeth. If you are a musician and are concerned about how your playing might impact your health, book an appointment with one of our friendly dentists.

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