CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 · Sports Med Int Open 2019; 03(03): E96-E101
DOI: 10.1055/a-1036-5888
Training & Testing
Eigentümer und Copyright ©Georg Thieme Verlag KG 2019

Prediction of Ergogenic Mouthguard Effects in Volleyball: A Pilot Trial

Antina Schulze
Martin Busse
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received 28. Juni 2019
revised 10. Oktober 2019

accepted 14. Oktober 2019

22. November 2019 (online)



Dental occlusion may affect static and dynamic balance. The effects of a mouthguard on pinpoint accuracy in volleyball were investigated in 28 players who completed a volleyball specific test. Also, masticatory electromyographic tests were performed. The mean pinpoint accuracy was significantly higher with a mouthguard (68.6±9.3 vs. 64.0±7.0 points from 100; p< 0.006). However, differential mouthguard effects were seen, and three subgroups were classified: Group 1 (markedly improved pinpoint accuracy), Group 2 (improved pinpoint accuracy), and Group 3 (reduced pinpoint accuracy). Group 1 had a high masseter resting tone, the masseter activity was low in MVC (maximum voluntary clench) and increased in BOC (maximum bite on cotton rolls; p< 0.04). This indicates a masseter weakness, which would be compensated by a mouthguard. In Group 2, the masseter activity in MVC was high-normal with an imbalance which was improved in BOC (p< 0.01), indicating a possible mouthguard benefit. In Group 3, MVC and BOC were in a high-normal range and showed no relevant deficits. In these subjects the mouthguard had adverse effects. Overall, subjects with masticatory deficits had a benefit from the mouthguard in pinpoint accuracy. Positive or negative mouthguard responders may be detectible from electromyographic tests.