From the Florida Times-Union (Jacksonville):
There’s a new performance-enhancer coming to professional and amateur locker rooms.
It’s not a pill, won’t fit in a syringe and can’t be blended into a shake or smoothie. Plus, it’s legal.
It might sound ridiculous that a mouthguard could make a significant difference in performance, but the makers of the Pure Power Edge say it improves body alignment, strength, balance, flexibility and endurance.
The key to the PPE lies in neuromuscular dentistry and the belief that jaw alignment can have a major effect on the rest of the body. According to the Canada-based company that markets the PPE, the jaw is not in its optimal position for 90 percent of the population – an overbite in most cases.
Wagner said the brain spends half of its energy on head, neck and jaw position, and by finding the ideal jaw position and locking it in place with a fitted mouthguard, strength is released to the rest of the body because the brain can focus more on core muscles. Endurance improves because the PPE opens up the airway and allows for better circulation and oxygen flow, Wagner said.
“A lot of our football players tell us that they feel stronger in the fourth quarter, and this is coming from guys who were adamant that they didn’t want to wear a mouthguard, even though it’s required,” Wagner said. “Now, when you see that they won’t go to the gym or anywhere without it, that’s powerful.”
That the health and function of the rest of the body can be affected by malocclusion – the teeth coming together in a less than ideal way – should be no surprise. The great dental researcher A.C. Fonder demonstrated as much through the wealth of research he presented in The Dental Physican. In simplest terms, dental stress – including that in the jaw – can eventually start a cascade of stresses through the rest of the body. Left untreated, these can lead to dysfunction and illness in some individuals.
Thus, the conscientious dentist will have an understanding of how the teeth work together and their relationship to the bones and muscles of the jaw, face and neck. As gnathologist Peter K. Thomas always insisted in his teaching, dentists should know the tops of the teeth just as well as renowned pianist Arthur Rubenstein knew the tops of the piano keys. Only with familiarity and understanding can a dentist help fit teeth together in a harmonic way.