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  • 1. July/August 2009 Vol. 30 (Special Issue 2)A Supplement to of Continuing Education in Dentistry Published by AEGIS Publications, LLC 2009
  • 2. A Supplement to of Continuing Education in Dentistry PUBLISHER AEGIS Publications, LLC The Future of Athletic Performance EDITOR Catherine Paulhamus PRODUCTION/DESIGN Introduction 2 Alena Jarnik Claire Novo Performance-Enhancing Mouth WearCompendium of Continuing Education in Dentistry and Craniofacial Neurometabolic Physiologyand The Future of Athletic Performance are pub-lished by AEGIS Publications, LLC. William L. Balanoff, DDS, MS, FICDCopyright 2009 by AEGIS Publications, LLC. Allrights reserved under United States, Internationaland Pan-American Copyright Conventions. Nopart of this publication may be reproduced, storedin a retrieval system or transmitted in any form orby any means without prior written permissionfrom the publisher. Literature Review 4PHOTOCOPY PERMISSIONS POLICY: This publica- Performance Enhancementtion is registered with Copyright Clearance Cen-ter (CCC), Inc., 222 Rosewood Drive, Danvers, MA and Oral Appliances01923. Permission is granted for photocopyingof specified articles provided the base fee is paid Mark Roettger, DDSdirectly to CCC.The views and opinions expressed in the articlesappearing in this publication are those of the au-thor(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views oropinions of the editors, the editorial board, or thepublisher. As a matter of policy, the editors, theeditorial board, the publisher, and the university Research Update 9affiliate do not endorse any products, medicaltechniques, or diagnoses, and publication of any Effects of Mouthpiece Use onmaterial in this journal should not be construedas such an endorsement. Airway Openings and Lactate LevelsWARNING: Reading an article in the Compendiumof Continuing Education in Dentistry does not in Healthy College Malesnecessarily qualify you to integrate new techniquesor procedures into your practice. AEGIS Publica- Dena P. Garner, PhD; and Erica McDivitt, MStions expects its readers to rely on their judgmentregarding their clinical expertise and recommendsfurther education when necessary before tryingto implement any new procedure.Printed in the U.S.A. Research Update 14 Effects of Mouthpiece Use onAegis is an ADA CERP recognized provider Program Approval for Continuing Education Approved PACE Program Provider FAGD/MAGD Approved 7/18/1990 to 12/31/2012 Auditory and Visual Reaction Time Approval does not imply acceptance by a state or provisional board of dentistry or AGD endorsement. in College Males and Females President/CEO Dena P. Garner, PhD; and Jenni Miskimin, MS Daniel W. Perkins I 215-504-1275, ext. 201 Managing PartnerAnthony A. Angelini I 215-504-1275, ext. 202 Vice President of Operations Karen Auiler I 215-504-1275, ext. 204 Literature Review 18 AEGIS Publications, LLC The Role of Intraoral Protective Appliances in 104 Pheasant Run, Suite 105 Newtown, PA 18940 the Reduction of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury P. D. Halstead
  • 3. Dear Readers,In 1961, I had a sound reason to become involved with the understanding While localizedand treatment modalities of a TMD (temporomandibular dysfunction). Iwas the patient! joint pain makesA doctor gains additional understanding of a disease or illness when the pa- intuitive sense,tient is oneself. The associated physiologic manifestations brought about bytemporomandibular joint (TMJ) problems are difficult to understand. How associated anatomiccan the articulation of two bones cause such problems? While localized jointpain makes intuitive sense, associated anatomic pain away from the joint space pain away from theand violent bouts of vertigo are harder to rationalize. I desperately needed toengage in a commonsense self-evaluation and splint design to solve my prob- joint space and violentlem. That is why over 40 years ago I began the lifelong process of understand-ing mandibular positioning through occlusal interception. bouts of vertigo are harder to rationalize.My journey began with a three-unit gold onlay bridge replacing tooth No. 19.The bridge fit the teeth but the occlusion caused problems, and my TMD I desperately neededstarted then. I sought the advice of dentists and medical doctors, but no onecould give me relief. In their defense, they were working with TMJ treat- to engage in a commonment modalities that were in their genesis back then. Many different man-dibular positioning devices were created for my problem, including upper sense self-evaluationand lower appliances of all shapes and sizes. Some were made from acrylicand others from cast metal. Every conceivable functioning design was fab- and splint design toricated until the condylar pressure that led to inflammation and pain in thejoint, surrounding tissues, and structures could be eliminated. solve my problem.The knowledge gained from personal evaluation of mandibular repositioningdevices led to the creation of what is today known as the reverse wedgea simple yet effective device through which a predictable increase in thedistal portion of the posterior teeth and a lesser dimension in the premolararea positions the mandible to bring the head of the condyle slightly out ofthe fossa. By relieving abnormal and/or over-pressures in the TMJ, I be-came pain-free.I could not predict 40 years ago that my suffering would lead to performance-enhancing mouth wear. I invite you to enjoy this very special supplementto Compendium of Continuing Education in Dentistry introducing this newfield of dentistry.Respectfully,Paul Belvedere, DDSPrivate PracticeMinneapolis, Minnesota CompendiumVolume 30 (Special Issue 2) 1
  • 4. Introduction physiological effect. Even two tongue depressors held be-Performance- tween the molars seem to permit some degree of bodily strength enhancement. Of course, responsible dental pro- fessionals do not make decisions based on anecdotal evi-Enhancing dence: treatment protocols are based on science. The gold standard is a double blind study with a large population of participants. When professionals can separate blatant com-Mouth Wear and mercialism from science and prescribe objective solutions, patients receive appropriate, current therapy that will cre-Craniofacial ate a better quality of life. THE STRESS RESPONSENeurometabolic Stress is a normal physiologic response and can be benefi- cial, maintaining alertness, focus, and efficiency. How- ever, when stress becomes excessive (such as the fight orPhysiology flight response), the body is overloaded, and both per- formance and health are adversely affected. Teeth clench in response to elevated stress levels. This clenchingWilliam L. Balanoff, DDS, MS, FICD* mechanism completes a circuit, as it were, and signals the brain to begin a complex series of responses in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. The HPA axis is a feedback loop signaling the release of hormones1 and affects various parts of the body. WhenI n this special supplemental issue of Compendium, read- someone is faced with a stressful situation, the hypothala- ers will be introduced to a new retail categoryper- mus releases the corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), formance-enhancing mouth wear and its effect on the which activates the pituitary gland to release adrenocorti-body. The literature and science presented in this issue will cotropin into the bloodstream.1 This triggers the adrenalencourage new reflections on an old idea that has been anec- glands to release epinephrine (adrenaline), norepinephrinedotally and qualitatively described in the past, but is now (noradrenaline), and cortisol, all enabling the bodys stressbeing supported by a number of scientific studies. response.1 Epinephrine increases blood pressure, reaction The role of neuroreceptors, neurotransmission, activa- time, and heart rate, and sends blood to the muscles. Cor-tion or suppression of neuropathways, the mechanism of tisol releases glucose to supply the brain and muscles withneuropathways, stress, cortisol, lactate, concussion causa- immediate energy.1tion, and the craniofacial musculoskeletal system is begin- The HPA axis communicates with regions of the brain,ning to be unraveled and comprehended in different ways. including the limbic system, which controls motivationScientists are reviewing known phenomena and applying and mood.1 It also communicates with the hippocampus,double blind studies with remarkable results. Their conclu- which has a vital role in memory formation, mood, andsions are forging a new branch of science: craniofacial neu- motivation.1 Other affected areas include body tempera-rometabolic physiology. ture, appetite, and pain control. Stress will also shut down Numerous published papers, as well as much anecdotal hormonal systems, which affects growth, metabolism, andevidence, support the contention that a mandibular ortho- immunity.1 This serves as a useful short-term solution whendontic repositioning appliance provides some beneficial the body must marshal its energies to confront or run from*Private Practice, Fort Lauderdale, Florida2 CompendiumVolume 30 (Special Issue 2)
  • 5. Balanoffthe source of stress.1 However, stresss interference outlives needs an oral appliance that prevents teeth from occludingits usefulness and becomes detrimental when chronic. or clenching under stress and halts the bodys precondi- Cortisol, the stress hormone, is essentially the trigger for tioned flight-or-fight reflex.adrenaline. Cortisol belongs to a class of hormones called Researchers have studied a unique oral device that unlocksglucocorticoids, which affect al- the bodys true potential andmost every organ and tissue in the delivers performance enhance-body.1 Scientists believe cortisol ment without drugs. A simple SCIENTISTS AREhas hundreds of positive effects wedge was the solution. Properlyin the body but its most impor- REVIEWING KNOWN placed in the mouth, it enhancestant job is to help the body re- athletic performance in multiplespond properly to stress. Cortisol PHENOMENA AND APPLYING ways and reduces stress.helps maintain blood pressure DOUBLE BLIND STUDIES The wedge is a multicompos-and cardiovascular function and ite (elastomer, polymer) bio-is essential to normal functioning WITH REMARKABLE engineered intraoral device thatbut needs to remain in proper bal- RESULTS. THEIR relieves pressure on the tempo-ance. 1 At excessively high levels, romandibular joint that occursparticularly for long periods, the CONCLUSIONS ARE each time the jaw clenches dur-whole endocrine system is affect- ing stress. The wedge relieves this FORGING A NEWed negatively. High cortisol levels pressure by causing the lowerlimit peripheral vision, decrease BRANCH OF SCIENCE: jaw to be moved into the opti-metabolism, cause fatigue, reduce mal safety power position. Themuscle-building, and suppress CRANIOFACIAL desired movement of the jaw isthe immune system.1 NEUROMETABOLIC achieved by positioning a re- The results of tests showing, verse wedge bite plate overamong other benefits, a significant PHYSIOLOGY. both sets of rear molars. Subse-increase in endurance as well as quently, when the teeth area marked reduction in cortisol clenchedexerting pressureduring stress, indicate that a properly designed oral appli- the twin wedges provide the necessary pivot points thatance can interrupt the fight-or-flight signal by preventing induce the mandible (lower jaw) to move downward in athe completion of the clenching mechanism. slight arc. This supplemental issue of Compendium includes a num-CURRENT TECHNOLOGY ber of reports on the various effects of these devices, in-Various companies throughout the years have sought to de- cluding a literature review of research focusing on stressliver the power position through mouthguards; however, control, cortisol production, and a mechanism to interruptno studies to substantiate their claims have appeared in peer- a complex neuropathway that is being massively overworkedreviewed journals. The products employed uniform-thick- in modern society.ness bite plates that essentially locked or fixed the positionof the jaw. All were bulky, uncomfortable, and hard to re- DISCLOSUREtain, and none proved successful. The author is an employee of Bite Tech Inc. What was needed was a device that would effectivelyshort circuit the HPA process by preventing the comple- REFERENCE:tion of the clenching mechanism, thereby interrupting the 1. Stress system malfunction could lead to serious, life threateningfight-or-flight signal. This then clears the channels for en- disease. National Institute of Child Health and Human De-hanced performance and prevents the negative effects of velopment Web site. http://www.nichd.nih.gov/news/releases/stress from overloading the system. In simple terms, a person stress.cfm. Accessed April 6, 2009. CompendiumVolume 30 (Special Issue 2) 3
  • 6. LITERATURE REVIEWPerformance Enhancementand Oral AppliancesMark Roettger, DDS*Abstract: The use of some type of oral appliance to en- from the US Civil War. Surgical options for devastatinghance human performance, decrease stress or improve wounds from heavy lead bullets were limited. As a result,strength, has occurred throughout human history, from the treatment of choice for many of these wounds in theancient soldiers to modern athletes. To date, the science extremities was amputation. At that time, general anesthe-describing this phenomenon has been poorly under- sia was in its infancy (in 1844, Horace Wells, a dentist, wasstood, and the research has been limited. The goal of this the first to use nitrous oxide to induce the loss of con-paper is to review the efforts to improve human per- sciousness for surgery). Therefore, soldiers were given bul-formance with oral appliances, and the research explor- lets to bite on during these procedures to help them endureing the science behind these efforts. the agony, and the phrase bite the bullet was born. What was it about the action of biting a bullet that could helpF or the past 40 years, it has been suggested that man- these soldiers deal with the incredible stress created by dibular position could affect upper body strength these crude operations? and, hence, athletic performance. In the 1980s, Although there were early forays into these concepts ofthis concept seemed to have little scientific support and occlusion, oral appliances, and human performance, thewas highly criticized.1,2 More recently, research suggests quest for optimal jaw position and its relationship to per-mandibular position and oral appliances positively affect formance began in earnest in 1958 under Stenger et al atnot only upper body strength, but also endurance, recov- the University of Notre Dame.4 A starter on the footballery after athletic competition, concentration, and stress team, Jim Schaaf, suffered a concussion and subsequentlyresponse.3 This information could revolutionize the prac- Mnires disease, a recurrent prostrating vertigo associatedtice of dentistry. This paper reviews the literature and de- with generalized dilation of the membranous labyrinth oftails the early research regarding mandibular position, the inner ear, was diagnosed. The serious nature of the dis-clenching, and oral appliances and their effects on physiol- ease prevented Schaaf from competing. The researchersogy and human performance. believed he had a temporomandibular joint (TMJ) prob- lem, contributing to his equilibrium issues, and receivedTHE QUEST TO IMPROVE HUMAN permission from the coaches to examine him. The research-PERFORMANCE ers placed cotton rolls over the players back teeth and in-Legend and history provide a glimpse of the beginnings of structed him to swallow; the patient stated that his earsperformance enhancement and oral appliances. Roman had cleared for the first time in weeks. It was determinedsoldiers were said to use leather straps between their teeth that a splint and special mouthguard would be made: theto improve their prowess in battle. Native American wom- patient wore the splint continuously and used the mouth-en would bite on sticks during childbirth to ease delivery. guard during practice. In 2 weeks, the patients equilibri-Perhaps the most dramatic example of this phenomenon is um returned to normal and he resumed his starting role*Executive Director, Bite Tech Research Institute; Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Primary Care Dentistry, University of Minnesota School of Dentistry, Minneapolis, Minnesota; Private Practice, Lake Elmo, Minnesota4 CompendiumVolume 30 (Special Issue 2)
  • 7. Roettgerwith the football team. Stenger and his dental colleagues jaw posture and strength throughout the decades of theat Notre Dame documented other cases in which jaw posi- 1970s though the 1990s.1 Gelb noted not only that manytion was able to enhance or enable football players abili- of the studies that found improved performance while us-ties. However, these case reports are anecdotal, render- ing oral appliances were flawed, but that those studies refut-ing them scientifically suspect although the results appear ing claims of improved performance were also flawed. Inimpressive. some of the older studies, he observed that if proper statis- Approximately 10 years later, Stephen Smith performed tical analysis were applied, there were actual statistical im-a sample study of professional football players, examining provements in performance within the studies. Gelbs ex-jaw position and muscle strength.5 Smiths test position planation of the critical charges and countercharges duringwas obtained by bringing the players lower jaw from phys- this controversial period was based on the training of re-iologic rest position toward the closest speaking space, with searchers: clinical scientists spend most of their trainingevenly aligned midlines. He measured the players strength, in patient care, while basic scientists spend much of theirusing a Cybex II Dynamometer (Cybex International, Inc, training learning experimental design. He called on the twoMedway, MA). When he reviewed the data, Smith failed to sides to work more closely together for the sake of scienceuse statistical analysis and was criticized for poor science, and the benefit of the patients. Afterwards, research in thealthough he did observe improvement in strength when area of jaw position and strength proceeded in a positiveparticipants jaws were placed into the test position. direction. The next few years produced some particularly In 1980, Kaufman6 fabricated bite-altering splints for strong work in this area from Tufts University College ofthe US Olympic bobsled and luge teams. He discovered Dental Medicine in Boston. A series of well-designed, well-that a number of the luge athletes who had reported head- controlled studies examining jaw position and strengthaches during and after runs found relief by wearing the under a number of different conditions were published;dental splints. Some athletes also perceived increased strength these studies showed significant improvements in strengthwhen pushing off at the start of their runs. Again, these while using well-designed oral appliances.9-12results were discounted as unscientific and anecdotal. Efforts have been made throughout the years to improve Kaufman followed up his Olympics findings with a the science in designing studies to collect data on the cor-double blind study to observe the effects of a mandibular relation between jaw position and strength. Historically,orthopedic repositioning appliance (MORA) on football opinion among dentists is divided as to whether jaw posi-players.7 The overall results were positive: among players tion positively affects athletic performance. Research willusing the MORA, there were fewer severe injuries, such as remove opinion and anecdote from evaluation of this phe-knee injuries. The athletes reported greater strength. nomenon, and provide clinicians with important knowledge In the early 1980s, a double blind study was conducted for prescribing effective appliances. The quest continues,at the University of Illinois with 20 students who were ran- using technology and advances in biology to help evaluatedomly selected.8 The participants were examined, and two how oral appliances may enhance human performance.appliances were fabricated for each person: a MORA, whichrepositioned the mandible as described by Gelb, and a CNS EFFECTS OF CLENCHINGplacebo appliance that did not affect the occlusion. Three AND MANDIBULAR POSITIONbite conditions were tested for each participant: centric oc- Brain mapping using functional magnetic resonance imag-clusion, centric occlusion with the placebo splint in place, ing (fMRI) has offered an opportunity to study neurobiologyand the Gelb position using the active MORA appliance. safely and noninvasively and has presented an unprecedent-Data were collected using a Cybex II Dynamometer. Sta- ed view of the brains inner workings. Blood oxygenationtistically significant differences were recorded between the level-dependent (BOLD) fMRI is the most popular form ofMORA and normal centric occlusion when measuring functional brain imaging. BOLD fMRI contrast arises fromshoulder strength. No significant differences were noted the consequence of a higher ratio of oxyhemoglobin tobetween the placebo and centric occlusion. deoxyhemoglobin that accompanies neuronal activation.13 In 1996, Dr. Harold Gelb retrospectively reviewed many Areas of brain activation during a task or procedure actuallyof the claims and counterclaims published in the area of light up when imaged by fMRI. CompendiumVolume 30 (Special Issue 2) 5
  • 8. Literature Review Researchers have begun mapping brain activity during (ACTH), which in turn stimulates release of cortisol fromclenching and chewing. These early studies indicate jaw ac- the adrenal gland into the plasma. Cortisol is a steroidaltivity in the form of clenching or chewing stimulates not hormone that helps the body cope with stress by increasingonly the sensorimotor cortex of the brain but also results in gluconeogenesis, providing antiinflammatory effects, andactivation of the brains autonomic area, such as the insula by influencing many other bodily functions responsible forand hypothalamus.14 Further research needs to be per- homeostasis. Acute stress also activates noradrenergic neu-formed to determine which areas are involved in clenching rons in the locus ceruleus, confirming involvement of theand if the mandibular position affects the neurophysiology sympathetic nervous system as well as the HPA-axis in theof clenching. Stimulation of the hypothalamus would indi- stress-induced physiologic responses. This study showedcate a connection between clenching and the masticatory that rats who were allowed to bite on a wooden stick dur-and autonomic nervous systems (ANS). The hypothala- ing stress exhibited a significant reduction in CRF in themus is considered to be the master control of the ANS, paraventricular nucleus (PVN) of the hypothalamus com-mediating a variety of functions, such as fluid and elec- pared with rats that were not allowed to bite a stick. Thesetrolyte balance, temperature regulation, stress regulation, observations suggest a possible antistress effect of bitingand energy metabolism. The insula is considered to be the and an important role of nonfunctional masticatory activi-coordinator of the ANS.14 ty in coping. Attenuation of stress by stick-biting in rats Additional evidence that the masticatory system is inti- suggests oral appliances may help control stress in humansmately related to the autonomic nervous system has been and thereby improve performance.published in several journals. Gomez15 in 1999 showed a Corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) is the subject ofpossible attenuation of stress-induced dopamine metabo- intense research as it becomes clear that it is involved inlism by nonfunctional masticatory activity. The conclusion many physiologic processes in the nervous system andof this study was that this activity decreased the effects of beyond. Research is identifying CRF receptors not only instress on central cholinergic neurotransmission. additional areas of the brain but also in smooth, skeletal, A 2004 study by Hori et al16 clearly showed that non- and cardiac muscles.17 This would indicate that CRF isfunctional biting could suppress stress-induced activation active in many areas of human physiology. Considerableof the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and con- evidence suggests excessive activity in CRF systems is asso-sequently the expression of corticotropin-releasing factor ciated with depressive illness and anxiety disorders.18(CRF) in the rat hypothalamus. Corticotropin-releasing Overproduction of CRF and the resultant anxiety has beenfactor is a 41 amino acid hypophysiotropic peptide secret- implicated in diminished performance in animal models.18ed from neurons in the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) of CRF is also implicated in pregnancy and postpartum mor-the hypothalamus. CRF activates the anterior lobe of the bidity and physiology.19 There is high-level neuropharma-pituitary gland, releasing adrenocorticotropic hormone cologic research to find antagonists to CRF to be used as orally active agents against a number of neurologic disor- ders. Oral appliances that could help control the CRF pro- duction could be extremely important both in dentistry and medicine. The link between teeth, clenching, oral appliances, and the autonomic nervous system is poorly understood and deserves thorough study to fully describe the connection. Basic science has suggested a relationship between the mas- ticatory system, hypothalamus, and autonomic nervous system, which may explain how biting the bullet could positively affect those under intense stress. Can this ba-Figure 1 Schematic drawing of the Bite Tech wedge used inappliances to reposition the mandible, designed to help sic research be translated into clinical studies to under-decrease stress and improve human performance when stand more completely the influence of oral appliances onworn in a properly designed oral appliance. human performance?6 CompendiumVolume 30 (Special Issue 2)
  • 9. RoettgerCLINICAL RESEARCH: EFFECTSOF SPECIALIZED ORAL APPLIANCESON HUMAN PERFORMANCEA wedge-shaped component (Figure 1) has been designedto reposition the human mandible (simulating the use ofbullet, sticks, and leather straps) to improve human per-formance. This wedge can be imported into numerous oralappliances (Figure 2), making them useful in athletic sportsand in many other applications. The wedge has spawnedexperiments designed to test its effectiveness in enhancinghuman performance. The first test was conducted at the University of Tennes-see in 1999.20 This study examined how the wedge affects Figure 2 Some of the Bite Tech oral appliances that incorpo-strength and endurance, measuring grip strength as well as rate the wedge to improve human performance, differentheart rate and blood pressure during aerobic exercise. The designs are used for different sports and other applicationsgrip strength portion of the study involved 123 males andfemales. Results indicated 93% of the women and 67% ofthe men displayed increased grip strength when wearing an (Bite Tech, Minneapolis, MN) during exercise protocols. Aoral appliance with the wedge. Data from these individuals definite trend for lowered cortisol levels was noted with useindicate a 96% confidence level that appliances containing of the wedge appliance (mean value with appliance .2921the wedge would increase strength as compared with a mgs/dL vs mean value without appliance .3229 mgs/dL,placebo. The aerobic endurance section was smaller, with P = .389. In fact, cortisol levels were lower in 11 of 18 par-17 participants. Fifty percent of the participants wearing ticipants. Those who were helped by the appliance had athe wedge appliances showed an increase in endurance as 49% decrease in cortisol.evidenced by lower heart rates. This study raised the ques- Muscular activity is an integral part of the fight ortion as to how an oral appliance could affect strength and flight response. The HPA axis and its hormones play aendurance. leading role in the preservation of homeostasis during in- Previously cited research has indicated that physical stress tense exercise. Physical training and conditioning appearsincreases blood pressure and activates the HPA axis as indi- to lead to a reduction in the stress response to a given work-cated by hormonal changes with the ultimate production load22 just as the EDGE appliance did in many of the testof cortisol.18 There are also indications that a modest in- participants. The fact that more than half of the partici-crease in cortisol during exercise is beneficial, while ex- pants experienced a significant decrease in cortisol is quitetreme elevations have been associated with suppressing promising and justifies further research to clarify resultstestosterone and increasing anxiety,21 thereby adversely af- and to examine the relationship of stress, performance, andfecting performance and endurance. Animal models, such oral appliances. The function of this modulation of theas those done by Hori, studied the CRF levels in the rat as stress response in the improved performance of athletes isa result of stress, which required sacrifice of the animal and intriguing and will continue to be studied.immunohistochemical analysis of neural tissue to measure A link between cortisol and lactic acid has beenCRF. Human studies required a new design to safely meas- described by Luger.22 Because the EDGE appliance hadure the stress response: measuring cortisol levels to see if some effect on cortisol levels, researchers studied the rela-specially designed oral appliances could have similar anti- tionship of the EDGE appliance and lactic acid levels dur-stress effects in humans as stick biting did in rats. Cortisol ing exercise. Significant reductions in lactic acid werecan be easily and safely measured by salivary assay. Using found in those wearing the EDGE appliance (see Garnersalivary assay analysis, Garner and McDivitt3 investigated page 9). This is another promising finding that could helpthe correlation between cortisol levels when wearing and explain the ability of oral appliances to affect human per-not wearing an oral appliance with the Bite Tech wedge formance during exercise and stressful conditions. CompendiumVolume 30 (Special Issue 2) 7
  • 10. Literature ReviewCONCLUSION 11.Chakfa AM, Mehta NR, Forgione AG, et al. The effect of step-The concept of oral appliances affecting human perform- wise increases in vertical dimension of occlusion on isometricance is not new. Crude appliances have been used for hun- strength of cervical flexors and deltoid muscles in nonsympto-dreds of years to help humans cope with difficult times and matic females. Cranio. 2002;20(4):264-273.procedures. The mechanisms of this performance enhance- 12.Abdallah EF, Mehta NR, Forgione AG. Affecting upper ex-ment are complex and have been poorly understood. Re- tremity strength by changing maxilla-mandibular vertical di-cently, science has begun to explain more thoroughly the mension in deep bite subjects. Cranio. 2004;22(4):268-275.links between oral appliances and enhancement of human 13.Jezzard P, Matthews P, Smith S. Introduction to fMRI. In:performance. Eventually, dentistry, medicine, the military, Jezzard P, Matthews PM, Smith SM, eds. Functional MRI: Anindustry, athletics, and education may be positively impact- Introduction to Methods. New York, NY: Oxford Universityed by this knowledge. Press; 2001:3-30. 14.Tamura T, Kanayama T, Yoshida S. et al. Analysis of brain ac-DISCLOSURE tivity during clenching by fMRI. J Oral Rehabil. 2002;29The author is Executive Director of the Bite Tech Research (5):467-472.Institute and a consultant for Bite Tech, Inc. 15.Gmez FM, Giralt MT, Sainz B, et al. A possible attenuation of stress-induced increases in striatal dopamine metabolismREFERENCES by the expression of non-functional masticatory activity in the1. Gelb H, Mehta NR, Forgione AG. The relationship between rat. Eur J Oral Sci. 1999;107(6):461-467. jaw posture and muscular strength in sports dentistry: a reap- 16.Hori N, Yuyam N, Tamura K, et al. Biting suppresses stress- praisal. Cranio. 1996;14(4):320-325. induced expression of corticotrophin-releasing-factor (CRF)2. Gelb H. A too-polite silence about shoddy science: dynamic in the rat hypothalamus. J Dent Res. 2004;83(2):124-128. strength testing and beyond. Cranio. 1992;10(1):75-79. 17.Kishimoto T, Pearse RV II, Lin CR, etal. A sauvagine/corti-3. Garner DP, McDivitt E. The effects of mouthpiece use on salivary cortisol levels during exercise. Medicine and Science in cotrophin-releasing factor receptor expressed in heart and skele- Sports & Exercise. 2008;40(5):S468. tal muscle. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1995; 92(4):1108-1112.4. Stenger JM, Lawson EA, Wright JM, et al. Mouthguards: pro- 18.DeSouza EB, Nemeroff CB. Behavioral effects of corticotrophin- tection against shock to head, neck and teeth. J Am Dent Assoc. releasing factor. In: Corticotropin-Releasing Factor: Basic and Clin- 1964;69:273-281. ical Studies of a Neuropeptide. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press;5. Smith SD. Muscular strength correlated to jaw posture and the 1990:254-264. temporomandibular joint. N Y State Dent J. 1978;44(7):278- 19.Chrouses GP, Torpy DJ, Gold PW. Interactions between the 285. hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and the female reproduc-6. Kaufman RS. Case reports of TMJ repositioning to improve tive system: clinical implications. Ann Intern Med. 1998;129 scoliosis and the performance by athletes. N Y State Dental J. (3):229-240. 1980;46(4):206-209. 20.Alexander CF. A Study on The Effectiveness of a Self-Fit Mandib-7. Kaufman RS, Kaufman A. An experimental study on the ef- ular Repositioning Appliance on Increasing Human Strength and fects of the MORA on football players. Basal Facts. 1984;6 Endurance Capabilities [masters thesis]. Knoxville, TN: Uni- (4):119-126. versity of Tennessee; 1999.8. Vergan EM Jr, Groppel JL, Pfautsch EW, et al. The effects of 21.Selvage DJ, Rivier C. Importance of the paraventricular nu- mandibular orthopedic repositioning appliance on shoulder cleus of the hypothalamus as a component of a neural pathway strength. J Craniomandibular Pract. 1984;2(3):232-237. between the brain and the testes that modulates testosterone9. Abduljabbar T, Mehta NR, Forgione AG, et al. Effect of in- creased maxilla-mandibular relationship on isometric strength secretion independently of the pituitary. Endocrinology. 2003; in TMD patients with loss of vertical dimension of occlusion. 144(2):594-598. Cranio. 1997;15(1):57-67. 22.Luger A, Deuster PA, Kyle SB, et al. Acute hypothalamic-10.AL-Abbasi H, Mehta NR, Forgione AG. The effect of vertical pituitary-adrenal responses to the stress of treadmill exercise: dimension and mandibular position on isometric strength of Physiologic adaptations to physical training. N Engl J Med. the cervical flexors. Cranio. 1999;17(2):85-92. 1987;316(21):1309-1315.8 CompendiumVolume 30 (Special Issue 2)
  • 11. RESEARCH UPDATE Effects of Mouthpiece Useon Airway Openings and Lactate Levels in Healthy College Males Dena P. Garner, PhD;1 and Erica McDivitt, MS2Abstract: Research has described the use of mouthpieces not only in preventing oral-facial injuries, but linking use toimprovements in muscular strength and endurance. However, the mechanisms by which these improvements occur havenot been elucidated. The purpose of this study was to understand possible physiological explanations for improvementsin exercise performance with the use of a mouthpiece. Specifically, this study focused on differences in lactate levels after30 minutes of endurance exercise with and without a mouthpiece. In addition, computed tomography (CT) scans weretaken of the cross-sectional area of the oropharynx in each participant (N = 10) with and without a mouthpiece. CT scansshowed a significant difference in mean width (28.27 mm with the mouthpiece vs 25.93 mm without the mouthpiece,P = .029) and an increase in mean diameter with a mouthpiece (12.17 mm vs 11.21 mm, P = .096). Lactate levels werelowered with the mouthpiece at 1.86 mmol/L vs 2.72 mmol/L without mouthpiece. This research suggests that there isan improvement in endurance performance that may be linked to improved airway openings resulting from the use of amouthpiece. Future studies should continue to clarify the possible mechanisms for these exercise outcomes as well as tounderstand the optimal mandibular advancement to elicit these exercise improvements.M outhpieces have been used for a variety of con- While there is compelling research to support the use of tact sports to prevent oral-facial injury.1 In a mouthguards to protect against oral-facial injuries during review of dental trauma literature, Glendor2 contact sports, there is also research to suggest that mouth-noted that participation in sports is the greatest cause of pieces may enhance performance. Smith6,7 noted that pro-dental injuries. To minimize injury associated with contact fessional football players exhibited greater arm strength withsport participation, the American Dental Association (ADA) properly fitted mouthguards that resulted in changes in biterecommends the use of mouthguards to protect against patterns. Smith also noted that those players with the mostdental trauma during contact sports.3 In addition to the extreme overbite corrected with a mouthguard experiencedrecommendation of the ADA, such sport-governing bodies the greatest increase in strength. Specifically, he observedas the National Alliance of Football Rules Committee have that with a properly adjusted mouthguard, 66% of the play-mandated mouthguards for use in high school football in ers exhibited significant strength improvements on the iso-the United States.4 The 2008-2009 National Athletic As- metric deltoid press.7 He stated that the increase in strengthsociation (NCAA) Sports Medicine Handbook mandates with a properly fitted mouthguard was because of decreasedmouthguards for athletes involved with football, field hock- pressure in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ).ey, lacrosse, and ice hockey in order to minimize dental Not only has improvement in strength been noted, buttrauma during these sports.5 Garabee8 described improvement in 7 runners endurance1Assistant Professor, Department of Health, Exercise and Sport Science, The Citadel, Charleston, South Carolina2Research Assistant, Department of Health, Exercise and Sport Science, The Citadel, Charleston, South Carolina CompendiumVolume 30 (Special Issue 2) 9
  • 12. Research UpdateLactate Levelsand recovery with use of a mouthpiece to promote proper oc- With this data suggesting a physiological improvementclusion. He observed that when runners wore a wax bite when a mouthpiece is used, the next step was to clarify fur-mouthpiece, there was an increase in mileage: 64 to 100 miles ther the possible reasons for this improvement. Trenouthper week in one runner, and 50 to 80-100 miles per week in and Timms 13 found a positive association between theanother. He also noted quicker recovery times and decreased orpharyngeal airway opening and mandibular length, withperceived exertion with use of the mouthpiece vs without the a narrower opening associated with a shorter mandibularmouthpiece. Garabee hypothesized that this improvement length. They cited previous research that suggested repo-was because of decreased stress with mouthpiece use that sitioning the mandible in an anterior position, therebyreduced clenching and grinding of teeth during exercise. opening airways and promoting respiratory gas exchange As the research evolved, the to and from the lungs. In the litera-possible reasons for improvements ture associated with sleep apneain performance were elucidated THIS PRESENT STUDY SUGGESTS (where airway openings are dimin-by Francis and Brasher. 9 In a ished during sleep) and mouth-study of 10 men and 7 women, MECHANISMS BY WHICH pieces, it can be noted that therethey found that wearing a mouth- is significant improvement in air- LACTATE PRODUCTION MAYpiece during 20 minutes of high way openings for patients wear-intensity cycling resulted in im- BE IMPROVED WITH INCREASED ing a mouthpiece (a device thatprovements in ventilation (average fits like a retainer and forces theof 43.13 l/min with mouthpiece AIRWAY OPENINGS, THEREBY lower teeth to relax in a forwardvs 50.98 l/min without mouth- IMPROVING OXYGEN KINETICS position). Kyung and colleagues14piece). They noted that this im- advanced the mandible forwardprovement may be from pursed SUCH AS LOWERED OXYGEN with an oral appliance in 12lips breathing which results in DEFICIT AND/OR IMPROVED sleep apnea patients and found agreater oxygen saturation. Ugalde reduction of the apnea-hypop-and colleagues10 confirmed that BREATHING WORK RATES. nea index from 44.9 (withoutpursed lips breathing resulted in appliance) to 10.9 (with appli-increased oxygen saturation in ance). Gale and colleagues15 alsomyotonic muscular dystrophy patients, while Tiep11 stated found a significant improvement in mean airway openingthat such breathing results in increased tidal volume, car- with an anterior mandibular device while patients werebon dioxide removal, and oxygen saturation. supine in a conscious state. Specifically, Gale et al15 found Drawing from the research by Frances and Brasher, 9 the that in 32 participants, the mean minimal pharyngeal cross-possible reasons for improvements in endurance perform- sectional area was increased 28 mm2 with the mouthpieceance while wearing a mouthpiece provide insight into the vs without the mouthpiece. Gao and collegues16 statedphysiological mechanisms that may be occurring. In order that for their participants, the mandibular advancement wasto first understand if there were improvements in perform- 7.5% with a mouthpiece. They specifically found a signifi-ance, the authors laboratory conducted a series of pilot cant opening of the oropharynx (P = .0258) and velo-studies primarily to determine if lactate levels were affect- pharynx areas (P = .006). Zhao et al17 also found that theed by the use of a mouthpiece. If, as Frances and Brasher9 velopharynx opening increased significantly with an ad-suggested, there was improvement in ventilation (ie, in- justable mandibular custom mouthpiece, from 3.27 mm2creased oxygen saturation and removal of carbon diox- at 0 mm, to 8.45 mm 2 at 2 mm, 17.73 mm 2 at 4 mm,ide), then there could consequently be an improvement 24.45 mm2 at 6 mm, and 35.82 mm2 at 8 mm. This re-in lactate levels. The authors found that with 24 partici- search suggests that the positioning of the mouthpiece willpants, there was improvement in lactate levels after 30 min- impact the degree of airway opening, with greater movementutes of running on a treadmill at 85% of maximal heart rate of mandible in a forward position resulting in a greater open-(4.01 mmol/L with mouthpiece vs 4.92 mmol/L without ing of the velopharynx. With the findings of previous stud-mouthpiece). 12 ies as well as those in the authors laboratory, the hypothesis10 CompendiumVolume 30 (Special Issue 2)
  • 13. Garner and McDivittof this study is that there will be increased airway openingand a decrease in lactate levels with the use of a mouthpiece. 30 25 MouthpieceMETHODS 20 Millimeters No MouthpieceFor this pilot study the authors recruited 10 participants to 15determine if there were differences in airway openings with 10the use of a mouthpiece and if there were differences in lac- 5tate levels after 30 minutes of running. The mouthpiece 0used was a boil and bite upper mouthpiece which had a Width Diametergreater bite opening distal vs proximal (EDGE, Bite Tech Figure 1 Mean values of oropharynx width and diameterInc, Minneapolis, MN). Participants were 1821 years old, with and without a mouthpiece.male, and from The Citadel. Each participant completed acomputed tomography scan (i-CAT 3D Dental Imaging 3.0System, Imaging Sciences International, Hatfield, PA) with Lactate levels (mmol/L) 2.5and without a mouthpiece, and the mean oropharynx area Mouthpiecewas measured in each. Participants then completed two 2.0 No Mouthpiece30 minute runs on the treadmill at 75%85% of their 1.5maximum heart rate, and lactate levels were assessed at 0, 1.015, and 30 minutes of the run (Accutrend Lactate Ana- 0.5lyzer, Sports Resource Group, Inc, Minneapolis, MN). Par- 0ticipants were randomly assigned a mouthpiece during each Mean of Participants (N = 10)running trial and were required to refrain from exercising Figure 2 Mean lactate levels after 30 minutes of running atthe day before and the day of testing. If participants failed 75%85% of maximum heart rate.to cooperate, they were asked to return on a subsequent daywhen compliance was met. oral appliance. Kyung et al14 also found reduced apnea- hypopnea indices, reducing the average index from 44.9 toRESULTS 10.9 with an oral appliance.The results of this study displayed a significant increase in Research continues to elucidate the degree of forwardmean width value of the oropharynx at 28.27 mm with the movement which would be most beneficial. In the researchmouthpiece vs 25.93 mm without the mouthpiece (P = .029) by Zhao and colleagues17 there was a range of improvement(Figure 1). In addition, the mean value of the diameter was in the airway opening for participants: as the mandible wasincreased with a mouthpiece vs without a mouthpiece moved to a more forward position, the opening of the air-(12.17 mm vs 11.21 mm, P = .096) (Figure 1). As previous way increased. It should also be noted that a specific mouth-studies had suggested, the difference in lactate levels from piece was used for this present study. This particularpre- to post-exercise was lowered with the mouthpiece vs mouthpiece offered minimal obstruction for the partici-without the mouthpiece, though not at the level of signif- pants as they ran, yet was also designed to bring the man-icance (1.86 mmol/L with mouthpiece vs 2.72 mmol/L dible to a forward position. The mouthpiece was easy towithout mouthpiece) (Figure 2). use and mold to participants, who noticed no impairment in their breathing patterns during use. Further research toDISCUSSION understand how different mouthpieces could affect the air-There is a plethora of research to suggest that the upper air- way openings is warranted. Such studies should focus onway of patients with sleep apnea is improved with a custom- measuring the movement of the mandible with the use of afit oral device, due specifically to the forward movement of mouthpiece and how this may affect airway openings inthe mandible.13-18 Ryan and colleagues18 found improve- healthy participants.ment in the cross-sectional area of the velopharynx and in The results of the study suggest that the use of a mouthpiecethe apnea index with the use of a mandibular advancement increases airway openings in these healthy participants and CompendiumVolume 30 (Special Issue 2) 11
  • 14. Research UpdateLactate Levelsthat the use of a mouthpiece while exercising may improve exercise intensity, the glycolytic pathway is highly utilized tolactate levels. While previous studies with sleep apnea popu- meet energy needs. The end product of this pathway is thelations indicated improvements in airway openings with production of lactic acid. Lactic acid is broken down intothe use of a mouthpiece, there were limited data on a lactate and hydrogen ions, and it is this increase of hydro-younger, healthy population (age 21 +/- 1.1 years). This gen ions that is negatively associated with metabolic proc-study, however, is similar in a study by Gao and col- esses, leading to fatigue.19-20 Thus, any mechanism whichleagues16 which took magnetic images of 14 healthy Japa- elicits lowered hydrogen levels resulting from lactic acidnese men (age 27.7 +/- 1.9 years). Gao et al16 saw improve- should increase an athletes time to fatigue. For example, ifments in airway opening with a custom-fit oral device that the pathways used during exercise rely more on oxygen,was specifically designed to move the mandible in a more then lactate levels will be lowered. Yet understanding thisforward position. Their study found significant improve- link between lowered lactate levels and increased airwayments in the velopharynx (P = .0006) and the oropharynx openings is a complex issue needing further investigation.12(P = .0258), while the current study noted a significant im- Previous studies have noted that an improvement inprovement in the oropharynx width (P = .029). breathing work rates leads to improved exercise time be- Because of the financial costs of obtaining 2 CT scans cause of reduced oxygen uptake and ventilation.21-22 Spe-for each participant, this study was limited in the number cifically, if breathing mechanics are improved, then there isof participants. In addition, this was designed as a pilot a decreased need for oxygen and blood flow by the respira-study to determine: 1) if there were changes in airway tory muscles which typically require approximately 10% ofopenings with a mouthpiece in healthy participants; and the oxygen needs during strenuous exercise. Less blood2) if this could translate into lowered lactate levels. The flow to the respiratory muscles suggests an increase ofresults suggest there may be a link, which could be one pos- blood flow to the exercising skeletal muscles, which wouldsible physiological explanation for performance improve- prolong time to fatigue. Specifically, Harms and colleaguesment with a mouthpiece. found that when respiratory muscle work was decreased It may be surmised that the lack of significant differ- (via a proportional-assist ventilator), time to exercise ex-ences in lactate levels in this study may be because of the haustion was increased in 76% of the trials by an averagelow number of subjects, even though the trend was lower of 1.3 minutes (+/-0.4 minutes).22lactate levels with the mouthpiece vs no mouthpiece. As Improvement in respiratory muscle function may notthe authors previous study suggested (N = 24), lactate lev- be the only mechanism that occurs during mouthpieceels were significantly lower with a mouthpiece vs without a use. An interesting study by Kilding and colleagues23 exam-mouthpiece after 30 minutes of running on a treadmill ined response time of oxygen kinetics in endurance runners(4.01 mmol/L mouthpiece vs 4.92 mmol/L no mouth- (N = 36) to understand its possible effect on a 5 kilometerpiece) (Figure 3). time trial. An important finding from their study was that Research has consistently noted the correlation between a faster phase II oxygen uptake kinetic response at the on-exercise fatigue and higher lactate levels. As one increases set of moderate intensity exercise resulted in faster 5 kilo- meter performance. Thus, they concluded that those runners who had a shorter oxygen deficit at the onset of exercise (as 6 indicated by shortened phase II response) could increase Lactate levels (mmol/L) 5 Mouthpiece time to exhaustion, as indicated by the better 5 kilometer 4 No Mouthpiece performance. Kilding cited previous work by Casaburi and 3 colleagues24 stating a decrease in oxygen deficit at the onset 2 of exercise could result in decreased lactate production, 1 which could potentially improve endurance performance. 0 This present study suggests mechanisms by which lactate Mean of Participants (N = 24) production may be improved with increased airway open-Figure 3 Mean lactate levels after 30 minutes of running at ings, thereby improving oxygen kinetics such as lowered85% of maximum heart rate. oxygen deficit and/or improved breathing work rates.12 CompendiumVolume 30 (Special Issue 2)
  • 15. Garner and McDivittCONCLUSION 9. Francis KT, Brasher J. Physiological effects of wearing mouth-This study found that the use of a mouthpiece significant- guards. Br J Sports Med. 1991;25(4):227-231.ly improves airway openings in participants as compared 10.Ugalde V, Breslin EH, Walsh SA, et al. Pursed lips breathingwith these same participants who do not wear the mouth- improves ventilation in myotonic muscular dystrophy. Archpiece. In addition, lactate levels are improved when partici- Phys Med Rehabil. 2000;81(4):472-478.pants wear the mouthpiece vs when they do not wear the 11.Tiep BL. Pursed lips breathingeasing does it. J Cardiopulmmouthpiece. One explanation for the decrease in lactate Rehabil Prev. 2007;27(4):245-246.levels may be an improvement in oxygen kinetics at the 12.Garner DP, McDivitt E. The effects of mouthpiece use on sa- livary cortisol and lactate levels during exercise. MSSE Suppl.onset of exercise or improvement in breathing work rates In press.which may be prompted by enhanced airway openings with 13.Trenouth MJ, Timms DJ. Relationship of the functional oro-the use of a mouthpiece. Previous research in the field of pharynx to craniofacial morphology. Angle Orthod. 1999;69mouthpiece use and its effect on human performance sug- (5):419-423.gests that mouthpieces improve performance. However, 14.Kyung SH, Park YC, Pae EK. Obstructive sleep apnea patientsthese studies have been unable to elucidate the possible phys- with the oral appliance experience pharyngeal size and shapeiological mechanisms for this improvement. This research changes in three dimensions. Angle Orthod. 2005;75(1):15-22.is novel in the area of human movement because it suggests 15.Gale DJ, Sawyer RH, Woodcock A, et al. Do oral appliancesa possible physiological explanation for the improvement in enlarge the airway in patients with obstructive sleep apnea? Aperformance as noted by athletes. Further studies should focus prospective computerized tomographic study. Eur J Orthod.on the reasons for these improvements, noting differences in 2000;22(2):159-168.jaw morphology and airway dynamics for individuals who 16.Gao X, Otsuka R, Ono T, et al. Effect of titrated mandibularmay benefit from a mouthpiece during exercise and sport. advancement and jaw opening on the upper airway in nonap- neic men: a magnetic resonance imaging and cephalometricDISCLOSURE study. Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop. 2004;125(2):191-199.Dr. Garner has received an honorarium from Bite Tech Inc. 17.Zhao X, Liu Y, Gao Y. Three-dimensional upper-airway changes associated with various amounts of mandibular advancementREFERENCES in awake apnea patients. Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop. 2008;1. Hughston JC. Prevention of dental injuries in sports. Am J Sports 133(5):661-668. Med. 1980;8(2):61-62. 18.Ryan CF, Love LL, Peat D, et al. Mandibular advancement oral2. Glendor U. Aetiology and risk factors related to traumatic den- appliance therapy for obstructive sleep apnoea: effect on awake tal injuriesa review of the literature. Dent Traumatol. 2009; caliber of the velopharynx. Thorax. 1999;54(11):972-977. 25(1):19-31. 19.Green HJ. Neuromuscular aspects of fatigue. Can J Sport Sci.3. ADA Council on Access, Prevention and Interprofessional Re- 1987;12(3):7S-19S. lations; and ADA Council on Scientific Affairs. Using mouth- 20.Westerblad, H, Lee JA, Lnnergren J, Allen DG. Cellular mech- guards to reduce the incidence and severity of sports-related oral anisms of fatigue in skeletal muscle. Am J Physiol. 1991;261 injuries. J Am Dent Assoc. 2006;137(12):1712-1720. (2 pt 1): C195-C209.4. Bureau of Dental Education, American Dental Association. Eval- 21.Harms CA, Wetter T, McClaran SR, et al. Effect of respiratory uation of mouth protectors used by high school football players. muscle work on cardiac output and its distribution during max- J Am Dent Assoc. 1964;68:430-442. imal exercise. J Appl Physiol. 1998;85(2):09-618.5. Klossner D, ed. 2008-2009 NCAA Sports Medicine Handbook. 22.Harms CA, Wetter TJ, St Croiz CM, et al. Effect of respiratory 19th ed. Indianapolis, IN: NCAA; 2008:94-95. muscle work on exercise performance. J Appl Physiol. 2000;896. Smith S. Muscular strength correlated to jaw posture and the tem- (1):131-138. poromandibular joint. N Y State Dent J. 1978;44(7):278-285. 23.Kilding AE, Winter EM, Fysh M. Moderate-domain pulmo-7. Smith SD. Adjusting mouthguards kinesiologically in profes- nary oxygen uptake kinetics and endurance running perform- sional football players. N Y State Dent J. 1982;48(5):298-301. ance. J Sports Sci. 2006;24(9):1013-1022.8. Garabee WF. Craniomandibular orthopedics and athletic per- 24.Casaburi R, Storer TW, Ben-Dov I, Wasserman K. Effect of en- formance in the long distance runner: a three year study. Basal durance training on possible determinants of VO2 during heavy Facts. 1981;4(3):77-81. exercise. J Appl Physiol. 1987;62(1):199-207. CompendiumVolume 30 (Special Issue 2) 13
  • 16. RESEARCH UPDATE Effects of Mouthpiece Use on Auditory and Visual Reaction Time in College Males and Females Dena P. Garner, PhD;1 and Jenni Miskimin, MS2Abstract: Studies in exercise science have suggested that the use of a mouthpiece can improve performance, and theseimprovements may be linked to an enhancement in temporomandibular joint (TMJ) positioning. Studies have suggestedthat by improving TMJ positioning, there is improved blood flow in the area of the TMJ. Changes in TMJ positioning maybe improved with an oral device. The purpose of this study was to determine if there were improvements in auditoryand visual reaction time with the use of a boil and bite mouthpiece. Using a BIOPAC system, study participants (N = 34)were asked to respond to an auditory signal during 40 trials. In the visual reaction time test, participants (N = 13) wereassessed on how quickly they responded to a computer cue for a total of 30 trials. Auditory results showed a significantimprovement with the use of a mouthpiece (241.44 ms) vs without a mouthpiece (249.94 ms). Visual results showed thatparticipants performed slightly better with the mouthpiece (285.55 ms) vs without the mouthpiece (287.55 ms). Thesefindings suggest that the use of mouthpiece positively affects visual and auditory reaction time, which is a vital aspectto optimal sport and exercise performance. Future studies should continue to shed light on possible reasons for theimprovements in auditory and visual reaction time with the use of a mouthpeice. In addition, future studies should furtherilluminate what, if any, connection these improvements have with enhanced TMJ positioning.R eaction time is the period that occurs between a times in people with advanced fencing skills, thereby explain- stimulus and the initiation of muscle response1 ing improved performance.2 and can be assessed as simple reaction time, Many studies in exercise science have suggested that the usechoice reaction time, and discriminate reaction time.1 Sig- of a mouthpiece can improve performance, which may be relat-nals to any sensory system in a variety of populations can ed to an enhancement in temporomandibular joint position-be ascertained in any of the above situations. For exam- ing. Without proper temporomandibular joint positioning,ple, Borysiuk2 evaluated reaction and movement time with nerves and arteries within the joint may become occluded,tactile, acoustic, and visual stimuli in advanced and novice resulting in strain in nearby tissues, thereby reducing bloodfencers. He found that the advanced fencers had a signif- flow.3-7 By neutralizing the temporomandibular joint with aicantly improved reaction time with the visual (P < .057) mouthpiece, patients have reported to their dentists reducedand the tactile (P < .029) stimuli, with no significant differ- pain in the jaw, head, and neck areas, along with increased phys-ences in the acoustic stimuli between novice and advanced ical strength. This improvement in strength may be linked tofencers. However, the mean reaction and movement times improved blood flow and oxygen kinetics associated with re-with all three stimuli were lower in experienced fencers vs the duced stress in the temporomandibular joint, thereby produc-beginners. Borysiuk found fencing training improved reaction ing improved blood flow to the exercising skeletal muscles.8-101Assistant Professor, Department of Health, Exercise and Sport Science, The Citadel, Charleston, South Carolina2ACSM Health and Fitness Specialist, Boeing Activity Center, The Boeing Company, Everett, Washington14 CompendiumVolume 30 (Special Issue 2)
  • 17. Garner and Miskimin Several studies have shown that with the dominant hand, withmouthpieces result in improved the thumb in position to pressstrength and endurance.11-14 Spe- BY NEUTRALIZING THE the button. They were in-cifically, Fuchs 7 found the iso- structed to press this button when TEMPOROMANDIBULARmetric strength of the upper and the headphones emitted a sound.lower body in 40 females was JOINT WITH A MOUTHPIECE, Everyone underwent four seg-improved when participants wore ments, with 10 trials each. Seg- PATIENTS HAVE REPORTEDa wax bite between the upper and ments one and two included alower teeth, resulting in a 3-mm TO THEIR DENTISTS stimulus at pseudo-random inter-vertical dimension. The great- vals (1 to 10 seconds) while seg-est improvement with the wax REDUCED PAIN IN THE JAW, ments three and four used abite was in isometric strength, HEAD, AND NECK AREAS, stimulus at fixed intervals (everywith an increase of 8% in the left 4 seconds).arm, 4.5% in the right arm, 6.3% ALONG WITH INCREASED The visual test used a MS-in the left foot, and 11% in the DOS-based Motor Learning PHYSICAL STRENGTH.left foot. Alexander15 confirmed Activity Software System devel-this finding when she tested the oped at Texas A&M University.EDGE mouthpiece (Bite Tech This system uses Hicks Law,Inc, Minneapolis, MN) in 61 male and female participants which states that reaction time increases as a function of aand found 74% had improved grip strength when using binary logarithm (log2 n), in which n is the number ofthe mouthpiece. equally likely possibilities. Specifically, the participant The authors found that muscular endurance improved was asked to place his or her fingers on letters on a com-significantly with the use of the mouthpiece vs not using one. puter keyboard that corresponded to the same letters thatSpecifically, they determined mean bench press repetitions were displayed on the computer screen. Above each letterincreased 11% while preacher curl repetitions increased 17% on the computer screen were four large circles. The pro-when participants used the mouthpiece compared with non- gram proceeded through three sets of 10 trials. During theuse (P = .03 bench press; P = .004 preacher curl). Thus, based first trial, a line would appear over one circle with the let-on the indicative data that a mouthpiece improves exercise ter beneath it. After a pseudo-random amount of timeoutcomes, this studys goal was to further elucidate the possi- (1-10 seconds), the circle became white, at which pointble benefits of wearing a mouthpiece in regard to athletic per- participants were to respond as quickly as possible by strik-formance, specifically improved reaction time. ing the corresponding letter on the keyboard. During the second set of 10 trials, the line would appear over two circles,METHODSThe research involved assessments of visual and auditory re-action times. There were 34 participants for the auditory arm 255and 13 for the visual. Ages ranged from 18 years to 21 years,with participants recruited from The Citadels student body. 250 Mouthpiece MillisecondsThe study was approved by the schools internal review No Mouthpiece 245board, and all participants signed consent forms. BIOPAC Systems (BIOPAC Systems Inc, Goleta, CA) 240equipment was used to gauge auditory reaction time. TheBSL-SS10L push button hand switch (BIOPAC Systems 235 Mean of ParticIpants (N = 34)Inc), BSL-OUT1 headphones (BIOPAC Systems Inc),and Windows 95/98/NT 4.0/2000 (Microsoft Corp,Redmond, WA) were employed. Each participant sat in a Figure 1 Mean values of auditory reaction time with and without mouthpiece.relaxed position with closed eyes and held the hand switch CompendiumVolume 30 (Special Issue 2) 15
  • 18. Research UpdateReaction Timebut only one circle became white, and participants were to the visual test may be because of the small number of partici-strike as quickly as possible the corresponding letter on pants. If more participants were recruited, a trend of a loweredthe keyboard. For the final set of 10 trials, a line appeared visual reaction time with the mouthpiece may be established.over all four circles, one circle turned white after a pseudo- The question, however, is how the mouthpiece providesrandom amount of time, and participants were to respond such a benefit. Reaction time, specifically with visual andas quickly as possible by striking the corresponding key on auditory stimuli, is a complicated series of events that be-the keyboard. Participants completed two sets of the out- gins with the stimulus and ends with the initiation of thelined Hicks Law test for a total of 60 trials. movement. For example, reaction time associated with visu- For both arms of the study, participants completed the al stimuli begins with the primary visual cortex from whichtrials with and without a mouthpiece (the EDGE boil and two processing streams emerge. The first stream entailsbite). This mouthpiece was designed specifically to create a recognition of objects, while the second involves guidinggreater bite opening distal vs proximal in the mouth. As- actions and originates from the posterior parietal cortex.signment of the mouthpiece was random, and participants The oculomotor system involves three loops starting fromwere not told if any effect, either positive or negative, would the frontal cortex. The first loop goes through the brain-result from its use. stem, then the thalamus, returning to the cortex. The second