Recently, Dr. Sturgill’s research was published in the Academy of General Dentistry. He and four other doctors were part of an extensive research project, which involved hooking EMGs to weight lifters in order to test different performance mouthguards. The cross-sectional study consisted of 24 healthy adult weightlifters with normal occlusal relationships, and was designed to determine whether two self-fit performance mouthguards; a custom-fabricated, bilaterally balanced, dual-laminated mouthguard; and no mouthguard (control) differed in their effects on vertical dimension, muscle activation, and user preference.
The study found that during the power clean lift, maxillary mouthguards can affect activation of head and neck muscles–specifically the anterior temporalis, masseter, and SCM muscles–through a mechanisms related to changes in vertical dimension. Participants preferred the custom mouthguard and perceived that they were stronger and less encumbered when using a custom mouthguard during power clean lifts. Be sure to ask Dr. Sturgill for more details next time you are in the office!