How Does a mouth guard improve athletic performance?
Since early times human beings have known something is happening with our jaws when we begin to strain. We clench our teeth but never figured out what is actually happening until recently.
Think about trying to open a jar’s lid that is stuck. A majority of people will clinch their teeth while twisting. But why?
There are numerous examples over thousands of year:
- Greek and Roman soldiers used a leather strap to bite on during battle to increase focus
- Civil War soldiers would “bite the bullet” literally when under extreme pain. This is where the term originated.
- Pregnant women would clench down on birthing sticks to remain conscious
No one ever told you that your jaw could help you perform better. That is because not many know this. Years ago, by clinching and biting down they understood that doing so improved performance. However, the concept itself never evolved… until now.
Performance Mouth wear has been engineered to unlock the power and potential that is blocked by one of the human body’s instinctive reflex systems: teeth-clenching. The mouth guard and mouthpiece wedge moves the lower jaw down and forward. This slight opening prevents the constant activation of the “fight or flight” response reducing cortisol and increasing endurance, strength and reaction time.
Has it been proven? Yes. Studies show that cortisol is reduced when wearing mouth guards and mouthpieces. Cortisol reduction is not the only benefit. Higher VO2 max levels and lower lactic acid levels have also been found in clinical studies. Lactic acid levels are lower because athletes wearing the appliance breath easier. There is a better exchange of oxygen which helps muscles perform better.
What are the different types of Performance Mouthpieces?
A mouth guard is made of a softer material known as ethyl-vinyl acetate (EVA). This is the ADA recommended material for mouth guards. A mouth guard is used for sports when there is a higher risk of contact or impact to the head or neck area. This impact could cause damage to the teeth and jaw.
A mouthpiece is made of a combination of hard-soft material. Similar to some night guards, there is a hard layer on the occlusal surface and a soft layer underneath that rest on the surface of the teeth. This softer side provides a more comfortable fit on the teeth and gums. The mouthpiece is used for non-contact activities to improve performance and lower stress.
With safe, custom-built Performance Mouth wear, athletes in any sport – from football to hockey to golf – can capitalize on an innovation that makes you stronger, faster, and better.
Whether you need protection in contact sports or just want to improve your game, talk to Dr. Butler about helping you, the athlete gain an edge.