The effect of mouthguard use on ventilatory response to submaximal exercise

Marsh, CE ORCID: and Manders, J 2014, The effect of mouthguard use on ventilatory response to submaximal exercise , in: British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES) Conference 2013, 3rd-5th September 2013, University of Central Lancashire, United Kingdom.

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Mouthguards are used in a number of sporting activities to help protect against dental damage. Despite the protective benefits of wearing a mouthguard, it is possible that their use may impair oral breathing during exercise, and some sports persons may avoid their use due to the perception of obstructed breathing. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of wearing a mouthguard on pulmonary ventilation (VE), oxygen uptake (O2) and ventilatory equivalent for oxygen (VE/O2) at 50% and 75% of O2max . Six participants (mean ± s: age 20.7 ± 0.52 years, weight 79.6 ± 17.43 kg, height 177.6 ± 10.09 cm) participated in the study. The experimental protocol was granted approval by the local ethics committee. Each completed a treadmill exercise test to assess maximal oxygen uptake (O2max ), followed by two incremental treadmill tests using 10 min stages at intensities corresponding to 50% and 75% O2max , performed once wearing a mouthguard (MG) and once without (NMG) in a randomised order. Participants wore a nose occluded respiratory mask (7900 series, Hans-Rudolph, Shawnee, KS, USA) while expired gases were collected and analysed using breath–by-breath on-line gas analysis, and data was examined utilising paired sample t-tests. Results: Results showed that means for MG compared to NMG were no different at either 50% or 75% O2max for VE (P = 0.415, P = 0.122; effect size: 0.05, 0.26, respectively), O2 (P = 0.366, P = 0.893; effect size: 0.07, 0.02, respectively) or E/O2 (P = 0.825, P = 0.279; effect size: 0.05, 0.61, respectively). The results indicate that mouthguard use does not affect ventilatory parameters and corroborates previous research that they do not negatively influence ventilation or oxygen uptake (Gebauer et al., 2011; Rapisura et al., 2010). Conclusion: The results suggest that using a mouthguard has no adverse effect on ventilation or gas exchange during low to moderate exercise. Therefore, athletes apprehensive about mouthguard use potentially hindering breathing can be reassured that they do not obstruct oral breathing and should be encouraged to use them in sports that present a risk of dental injury such as rugby and hockey.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
Themes: Health and Wellbeing
Schools: Schools > School of Health Sciences
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Sports Sciences (Supplement : BASES Conference 2013 – Programme and Abstracts)
Publisher: Routledge
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 0264-0414
Related URLs:
Funders: Non funded research
Depositing User: CE Marsh
Date Deposited: 12 Jun 2015 09:03
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2022 19:21

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