Int J Sports Med 2008; 29(5): 435-438
DOI: 10.1055/s-2007-965341
Clinical Sciences

© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Exercise Capacity in Athletes with Mouthguards

T. von Arx1 , R. Flury2 , J. Tschan1 , W. Buergin1 , T. Geiser2
  • 1Department of Oral Surgery and Stomatology, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
  • 2Department of Pulmonary Medicine, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
Further Information

Publication History

accepted after revision April 12, 2007

Publication Date:
05 July 2007 (online)

Abstract

The objective of this study was to determine the effect of wearing a mouthguard on maximal exercise capacity and cardiopulmonary parameters at peak workload, and to assess the athletes' attitudes toward wearing a mouthguard. Thirteen volunteer male athletes (18 to 27 years old) were interviewed before and after delivery of a custom-made laminated mouthguard. A visual analogue scale (VAS, 0 - 100 mm) was used for judgment of interference with breathing, speaking, concentration and athletic performance. In addition, the athletes were subjected to a cardiorespiratory examination on a cycle ergometer with and without mouthguards. Subjectively, the athletes rated the mean interference with performance to be 37 mm VAS at the beginning of the study. Mean scores of impairment decreased to 23 mm VAS (p = 0.081) after wearing the mouthguard for four weeks, and further improved to 12 mm VAS (p < 0.001) after the test on the cycle ergometer. Objectively, the maximum workload during spiroergometry was even slightly elevated during exercise with the mouthguard (330.2 W) compared to exercise without the mouthguard (314.5 W). Peak minute ventilation and oxygen uptake were not different during exercise with and without the mouthguard. The present study demonstrated that a custom-made mouthguard does not significantly affect or reduce maximum exercise performance of athletes.

References

PD Dr. med. dent. Thomas von Arx

Department of Oral Surgery and Stomatology
University of Bern

Freiburgstrasse 7

3010 Bern

Switzerland

Phone: + 41 3 16 32 25 66

Fax: + 41 3 16 32 25 03

Email: thomas.vonarx@zmk.unibe.ch