Mouth guards are designed to distribute the impact on the jaw by force that can cause injuries such as lacerations, damaged teeth and concussions. Neuromuscular mouth guards are extremely different than the over the counter types. Some athletes such as Derrick Dockery swears by his neuromuscular mouth guard. After misplacing his for a few games he can immediately tell the difference. Some may question if this is partially all in his head.”The hardest part is to distinguish if it’s psychological,” Dockery says. “Is it? … I got more winded the games I didn’t have it in compared to the games I did have it. My breathing felt different when I wore it. It seems like you have more energy.”
“If you pull the jaw forward, your tongue is forward, you have more space in the back. It’s that simple,” says Alex Naini of AestheticDentalSpa.net, a neuromuscular dentist in Vienna, Va., outside Washington D.C., who fitted Dockery. “Anything that pulls the jaw forward opens the airway and automatically releases tension in your jaw joints. You have more space to let oxygen into your lungs.”Dr. Ban R. Barbat in Shelby Township, Michigan, knows the importance of jaw alignment and how it can help you increase your oxygen intake. If you are an athlete you should consider talking to your Dentist about improving your game.