Physiological Responses of a Jaw-Repositioning Custom-Made Mouthguard on Airway and Their Effects on Athletic Performance

Ricardo Schultz Martins, Patrick Girouard, Evan Elliott, Said Mekary

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Advanced dental techniques such as jaw-repositioning have shown to increase lower body muscular power such as vertical jump, but its effects on acceleration and speed have not been studied. Similarly, jaw repositioning is commonly used to increase airways volume and ventilation in a special population (i.e., obstructive sleep apnea); however, its ergogenic effects on aerobic performance have yet not been studied. The purpose of the cross-over study was to investigate the effects of a jaw-repositioning custom-made mouthguard (JCM) on volumetric 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 performance. The JCM condition showed an increase of 13% in upper airway volume (p = 0.04), 10% in upper airway width (p = 0.004), 7% in ventilation (p = 0.006), 5% in maximal aerobic power (p = 0.003), 4% in time to exhaustion (p = 0.03), 3% in vertical jump (p = 0.03), 2% in broad jump (p = 0.009), and a decrease of 4% in 20-m (p = 0.04) and 2% in 40-m (p = 0.001) sprint times. This is the first study to demonstrate a significant link between jaw repositioning, airway volumetric change, and performance enhancement in both aerobic and anaerobic performances. The results of this study may lead to 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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)422-429
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Strength and Conditioning Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 National Strength and Conditioning Association.


The authors acknowledge the contribution of Erkodent (Pfalzgrafenweiler, Germany) for the donation of manufacturing material and the Dental Health Center (Dieppe, NB, Canada) and the United Dental Laboratory (Halifax, NS, Canada) for the assistance in fabricating the jaw-repositioning custom-made mouthguard used in this study. The authors also acknowledge the contribution of Sirona 3D for the donation of the imaging equipment.

FundersFunder number
Dental Health Center
Sirona 3D
United Dental Laboratory


    • advanced dental techniques
    • anaerobic performance
    • athlete
    • maximal aerobic power
    • upper airway
    • volumetric change


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