Well, it looks as if some members of the endurance community are already eying up a new product to enhance your performance: Forget your Skins Inov 8s or vibrams, you could be needing a new specially fitted mouth guard to enhance your workout……
According to the website, Agility Guard the research in favour of such a proposition is growing: some studies have suggested a relationship between the vertical position of the jaw and isometric strength of the upper body (e.g Abdallah et al. “Affecting upper extremity strength by changing maxillomandibular vertical dimension in deep bite subjects”, The Journal of Craniomandibular Practice (2004); 22: 268-275.
Chafka et al. concluded that there is a “vertical position”, unique to each persons jaw, which maximizes isometric strength (“The Effect of Stepwise Increases in Vertical Dimension of Occlusion on Isometric Strength of Cervical Flexors and Deltoid Muscles in Nonsymptomatic Females”, The Journal of Craniomandibular Practice (2002), 20:264-273.)
Forgione et al. suggested that there was a relationship does exist between bite and isometric strength, “Strength and bite, Part 2: testing isometric strength using a MORA to set a functional criterion” , The Journal of Cranio-Mandibular Practice (1992); 10(1):13-20. who knew, perhaps biting should be part of your new regime
( btw According to “Shock Doctor” ( who?), “When fitted and worn correctly, the Shock Doctor Ultra Mouthguard positions the lower jaw down and forward, and the tongue up into the roof of the mouth (M.O.R.A. position). A Mandibular Orthopedic Repositioning Appliance (M.O.R.A.) may increase strength and athletic performance in a wide range of sports.”
Wang, Ueno, et al. found that maximum voluntary contraction during shoulder abduction( raising your arm) was significantly stronger with a mora “Influence on isometric muscle contraction during shoulder abduction by changing occlusal situation”, Bull. Tokyo Med Dent Univ, 1996, 43 (1): 1- 12.
Abduljabbar et al. found that some populations responded to a ” bite raising appliance” by increased isometric strength, “Effect of increased maxillo-mandibular relationship on isometric strength in TMD patients with loss of vertical dimension of occlusion”, The Journal of Craniomandibular Practice (1997) Jan; 15(1) 57-67.
al-Abassi et al. found that, in deep bite individuals, cervical muscle isometric strength is affected by bite position and vertical dimension of occlusion, “The effect of vertical dimension and mandibular position on isometric strength of the cervical flexors”, The Journal of Cranio-Mandibular Practice, (1999) Apr; 17(2):85-92.
But before everyone rushes out and gets a ( presumably not cheap) mouthguard, its as well to be aware of the research sponsored by those wanting to promote this as a product and service
Arents et al , superficially indicates a significantly better performance of a neuromuscular mouthguard over a custom-fitted mouthguard with respect to vertical jump, peak power output, average peak power, and average mean power. ( “Effects of a neuromuscular dentistry-designed mouthguard on muscular endurance and anaerobic power”, Comparative Exercise Physiology (2010)).
apparently the effects of jaw position to structural stability is examined in these two report
Bracco P, Deregibus A and Piscetta R (2004). Effects of different jaw relations on postural stability in human subjects. Neuroscience Letters 356: 228–230.
8 Sakaguchi K, Mehta N, Abdallah E, Forgione A, Hirayama H, Kawasaki T, et al. (2007). Examination of the relationship between mandibular position and body posture. The Journal of Craniomandibular Practice 25: 237–249.
but interestingly , back to Arents et al
“neuromuscular dentistry techniques have become more advanced. Based on the current study, it appears that a mouthguard designed using neuromuscular dentistry techniques has the potential to impact athletic performance in areas related to maximal power and repeatable power outputs. This may hold significance for the athlete who is required to wear a mouthguard while still looking for a competitive advantage and improvement” (page 5)
“Whether jaw positioning positively affects gross motor functioning has yet to be conclusively determined and remains to be a topic of controversy”
it is interesting that the report specifically debates the issue in the context of elite athletes who “have” to wear mouth guards anyway
“the speculative concerns put forth by athletes of possible discomfort, reduced ability to breathe and decreased performance6. The latter concern seems to be a major consideration for high-level athletes who are typically looking to gain any advantage”
I do wonder, whether within the year, if anybody who is anybody, will not only have to have skins and Inov 8, s but will also need a mouthguard…….. when doing a thruster!
Im not sure if this is the same thing, but at least its in London, its a pure Mouth guard, well I never!
In the meantime, Ive emailed Joy to ask her if she will chat to her bosses and get some more info about this . If anyone has any personal insight, so post up below
In the picture above, Im modelling my 2005 £2.50 self moulded gum shield: it makes your smile prettier. ( and you can see my crap tache!)