Undergraduate Honors Thesis Projects

Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Paper


Health & Sport Sciences


Dr. Joan Rocks

First Committee Member

Dr. Jeffrey Vasiloff

Second Committee Member

Dr. Jennifer Bennett


Performance enhancing mouth guards, Mouth guards, Grip strength, Concurrent activation potentiation, ArmourBite, Closest speaking space

Subject Categories

Other Dentistry | Sports Sciences


Many studies have looked into the ergogenic effect of wearing an oral appliance such as a mandibular orthopedic repositioning appliance or mouth guard. Little research has been done comparing the performance enhancing qualities of different types of mouth guards. In this study sixteen participants were tested on their grip strengths with a hand dynamometer under four different conditions. These conditions included mouth open, mouth closed, clenching on a generic boil and bite mouth guard, and clenching on the Under Armour ArmourBite® mouth guard. The grip strength results were analyzed and showed a significant increase in grip strength from the mouth closed condition to the Under Armour condition. The boil and bite mouth guard did not cause any significant improvement in grip strength from the mouth closed condition. The Under Armour mouth guard moves the mandible anterior and inferior to its natural position. This change in jaw posture seems to have a positive effect on grip strength results. Panoramic dental x-rays were also taken for each condition in order to analyze the interocclusal space. These x-rays showed that the Under Armour condition caused a significantly greater interocclusal space than the generic boil and bite. Future studies should continue to focus on looking into what causes these ergogenic effects, as well as what jaw and occlusion parameters optimize the ergogenic effect.