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J Am Dent Assoc. 2011 Sep;142(9):1041-7.

The effects of mouthpiece use on gas exchange parameters during steady-state exercise in college-aged men and women.

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Department of Health, Exercise and Sports Science, Charleston, SC 29409, USA.

Erratum in

  • J Am Dent Assoc. 2012 Mar;143(3):228.



The authors conducted a study to assess the effects of custom-fitted mouthpieces on gas exchange parameters, including volume of oxygen consumption over time [corrected] (VO(2)), volume of oxygen consumption over time per kilogram of body weight [corrected] (VO(2) /kg) and volume of carbon dioxide production over time [corrected] (VO(2)).


Sixteen physically fit college students aged 18 through 21 years performed two 10-minute treadmill runs (6.5 miles per hour, 0 percent grade) for each of three treatment conditions (mouthpiece, no mouthpiece and nose breathing). The authors assigned the conditions randomly for each participant and for each session. They assessed gas exchange parameters by using a metabolic measurement system.


The authors used analysis of variance to compare all variables. They set the significance level at α = .05 and used a Tukey post hoc analysis of treatment means to identify differences between groups. The results showed significant improvements (P < .05) in VO(2,) VO(2) /kg and VCO(2) in the mouthpiece condition.


The study findings show that use of a custom-fitted mouthpiece resulted in improved specific gas exchange parameters. The authors are pursuing further studies to explain the mechanisms involved in the improved endurance performance exhibited with mouthpiece use.


Dental care professionals have an obligation to understand the increasing research evidence in support of mouthpiece use during exercise and athletic activity and to educate their patients.

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[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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