It’s that time of year – many of the fall sports are in play with back-to-school and most of the winter sports are getting ready to rev up! Dentistry is a vital part of dental health for all athletes and can help with dental emergencies and also prevent them from happening in the first place.
Sports always require higher levels of balance, power and flexibility for success. Studies have shown that these 3 elements are improved when the muscles, the human skeleton and the nervous system are working in optimum harmony.
A person’s bite or dental occlusion works in close conjunction with the neck and, if the bite is not ideal, the muscles and alignment of the jaw and neck are negatively affected. The old saying “the head bone is connected to the neck bone…” and so on comes into play. Thus the overall body postural alignment, muscle balance and the effectiveness of the motor nervous system are affected as well and the athlete cannot perform optimally.
In summary, both elite and recreational athletes alike can benefit from having a balanced bite and balanced posture. This can be achieved through the fabrication of a specialized “mouthguard” that is made specifically to the ideal physiologic position of the jaw through the use of a muscle relaxation device (ultra low frequency TENS) and computerized jaw tracking and muscle tension monitoring system (EMG’s).
If you’d like more information regarding custom sports guards or other holistic dental care options, don’t hesitate to ask.
My team and I are happy to provide you with information regarding best dental care practices and providing you with safe, quality dental services.
With regular dental examinations, we can find and treat dental issues in the earliest stages and can even help prevent some of them. Contact us to schedule an appointment.
Dentist West Kelowna
28+ Years Experience
Smart Certified Dentist
1500+ Healthy Patients
Sports mouth guards were created to protect teeth, jaws and minimize concussion risks,. Custom-fitted mouth guards have also been developed to improve your physical ability by combining science and physiologically based dentistry.
For many Canadians, their lower jaw may not be in its best, most comfortable position. This can cause facial pain and muscle tension around the jaw. Eventually, imbalance jaws can lead to stiffness, inflexibility and other issues all throughout your body. You would be surprised to learn just how important a properly aligned jaw is; how it can improve your endurance, your strength and your overall physical ability.
When your jaw is in its best position, the muscles surrounding the area are no longer stressed. Proper jaw position can help you to achieve a more comfortable bite, improved balance, better flexibility and increased upper body strength. A good-fitting mouth guard helps your muscles return to their optimal position. This can help you reach the athletic peak you have been striving for and minimize the effects or help prevent a concussion.
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The sports mouthguard is worn on the upper or lower teeth, depending on the type of sport, contact or non-contact.
In addition to athletes who traditionally wear mouth guards – football, hockey and soccer players – there are numerous other athletes who are reaping the benefits of wearing a mouthguard. Baseball players, marathoners, swimmers, cyclists and strength trainers have all found that using a mouthguard vastly increases their strength, balance and agility.
The athletic mouthguard looks at the way your jaw, teeth and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) work together through their position in the mouth. When there is a problem with your jaw alignment, symptoms such as headaches, pain in the neck & shoulders, jaw pain, clicking or popping of the jaw and ringing in the ears can occur.
Dr. Palmer has the knowledge and technology to determine your best possible jaw position through a computerized jaw tracking system and TENS machine. The TENS machine helps relax your muscles, putting them in their most comfortable position. During your evaluation, Dr. Palmer will take impressions of your teeth and record your optimal bite. Your mouth guard will take about a week to be made in a lab and during your second visit, you will be fitted with your brand new custom-made mouth guard.
When your lower jaw is misaligned there is additional stress and strain put on the muscles of your face, jaw and neck. In addition, your shoulders and upper back muscles are negatively affected.
This in turn affects your posture and depletes energy from your body, and makes you more susceptible to concussion injury. When your jaw is aligned the way it should be, your muscles and your spine are relaxed. This improves upper body strength, flexibility and balance.