Effects of a jaw-repositioning custom-made mouthguard on athletic performance
LE3 .A278 2017
Bachelor of Kinesiology
Mouthguards are an indispensable safety accessory for sports that have risks of orofacial injuries. Despite the high incidence of injuries and high costs for treatments in these sports, athletes may not use protective mouthguards because of the belief that it may negatively impact athletic performance. The research on this topic has progressed over years along with mouthguard design – as mouthguards have become more sophisticated in their application, evidence has begun to accumulate for performance enhancement. Earlier studies using a basic mouthguard models such as a type I or stock mouthguard, demonstrated a hindrance on aerobic performance, while recent research with jaw repositioning mouthguards has shown preliminary findings of enhancements in performance. The purpose of the current research was to investigate the effects of jaw repositioning mouthguards on anatomical changes in airway and jaw position and determine the effects this may have on aerobic and anaerobic performance. Results indicated that jaw repositioning custom made mouthguard may have an ergogenic effect on maximal aerobic power, speed and power. This is the first study to show a link between jaw repositioning, airway volumetric change, and performance enhancement in both aerobic and anaerobic activities. The outcomes of this work may support a change in culture for the use of mouthguards in different sports applications, from high orofacial injury risk sports to other sports specifically for ergogenic enhancement.
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