Sport Performance Mouthwear

UnderArmour’s Performance Mouthwear for Rest, Play and Jaw Joint Problems

Lower Non Contact Appliance

Upper Contact Appliance


As you can see, these appliances are constructed with thin posterior bite plates moulded onto a very thin and supple thermoplastic base.

Throughout my dental career, I have noted how the structural development and relationship of the upper and lower jaws can affect the smooth functioning of the jaw joints and, in turn, the effect this can have on the structural alignment and balance of the body as a whole.

This has lead me to provide occlusal therapy [bite relationship adjustments designed to relieve tension in head, neck, jaw joints] which ranges from simple bite adjustment through to full upper and lower jaw arch orthopaedics and orthodontics

In all of this, balanced jaw joint positioning is key

The jaw joints also been shown have an effect in sporting activity as we tend to clench our teeth together as effort increases. This in turn compresses the jaw joints which stimulates release of cortisol [the natural stimulant in our ‘fight or flight’ mechanism] which, when constantly being released over a long period of physical exertion, exhausts the system rather fast.

Under Armour’s custom-fit Sports Performance Mouthwear has been specifically designed to prevent this jaw joint compression and, thereby, reduce the exhaustion and improve sports performance.

This appliance is unobtrusive, removable and available in ‘boil-and-bite’ or individually fabricated forms which fit snugly on the lower teeth for non-contact sport or the upper teeth for contact sport.

Once again, jaw joint positioning is key

For example,

Running : One ex-rugby player in his forties, who regularly runs ½ marathons,  reports that the first time he used the non-contact mouthpiece, he felt ready to run another  half marathon while two of his much younger participants, although beating him, where absolutely exhausted.

Gym Training: Another patient reported his personal bests in the gym were going through the roof.

Equestrian: one equestrian patient sent the following glowing email, “Just to say thank you very much for sorting me out with the ‘mouth guard’! WOW! Today was the first day I used it and I was jumping my horse at home in the school. Normally I am getting on and off to put the fences back up as she knocks them down all the time – today I was getting on and off only to put them up. We reached the top of the wings and have never been so balanced and jumped so well ever.”

Rugby: Performance mouthwear is suitable for all sports with another example being rugby and Bite Tech [the developer of this appliance] being a sponsor for the Welsh Rugby Union team where the players use the lower mouthpiece for non-contact training and upper mouthwear for protective contact on the rugby pitch – with both appliances producing the same TMJ compression reduction.

Night Time Tooth Grinding: I have also found that these appliances make an excellent night time appliance which alleviates the protective muscle spasm that tends to build around the Jaw Joints – especially overnight when these muscles are not having their daily ‘release exercising’ with talking, chewing etc.

Snoring: I am a particular case history here. Having decided to experience the boil and bite appliance, I opted to try it out for comfort overnight and found my wife’s complaints about my snoring had ceased! The complaints have not returned!

Structural Science

Everyone’s underlying head, neck and back  positioning is to a very large degree dictated by the triumvirate structural positioning  between the jaw joints and teeth which, if the head carriage is out of balance, this has the potential for a  stress inducing knock-on effect on the body’s general spinal and muscular structure.

From a sporting viewpoint, the concept behind this appliance has been around for quite some time with my first report of its benefits being around 25 years ago when a colleague of mine working in Las Vegas provided bite appliances for weight lifters who found that, with those in place, they could lift an extra 20% of weight. Apparently, even the gladiators in the Roman Arena fought with a strip of leather clenched between their teeth!

The repositioning that these sport performance appliances create in the jaw joints not only improves sporting strength but also cut out that excess ‘fight or flight’ cortisol reaction which aided the inbred short encounter  ‘Fight or flight’ survival mechanism.

However, if, for example, you’re running a marathon, this ‘fight or flight’ cortisol release will over exhaust the body’s reserves, build up lactic acid  and increase the effort required to complete it. This mouthware reduces its fatiguing result.

It’s not just the muscles that are affected: Cortisol claims both the body and the brain so that levels of concentration are part of the same mechanism. If the body’s exhausted, the brain will be experiencing difficulty, too. For instance, in the miles of a marathon, frequently, the brain almost closes down and all a runner can think about is getting to the end. With UAPM, because the body doesn’t get over-fatigued, the brain remains more ‘present’ and focus remains much stronger.”

Structural Alignment

Correct jaw alignment is also important for structural body alignment, which, untreated, can lead to symptoms like migraines, neck / back pain, and some research [documented over the last 15 years] also indicates a connection between jaw joint imbalance and heart strain. There is even quite a degree of evidence that people with Tourette syndrome can have their symptoms reduced or eradicated by using custom-fit mouthwear.”

Although, unlike its originally designed purpose for sports performance, it is not suitable for all TMD [Joint Dysfunction] cases, I have found it not only very effective but also, being small and very lightweight, that, unlike the previously available bulky appliances, it produces vastly improved patient compliance compared with prior rather bulky acrylic appliances.

From a sports point of view, UAPM helps athletes reach their unique, optimum ability and enjoy faster, optimum recovery after exertion.

From a dental occlusal therapy point of view, they greatly assist in easing the muscular and skeletal stress not only in the head and neck area but also throughout the whole body

More information on the appliances and the science behind them can be found at

www.bitetech.com

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