Background: The aim of the study was to evaluate how muscular performances, balance and posture were influenced applying Occlusal Splints and Taopatch® 8 (Tao Technologies Srls, Cittadella, Padua, Italy) devices in athletes.
Methods: Eighteen athletes, 7 females and 11 males, with an average age of 23.8 years, were included. Two devices were used: 1) a customized soft occlusal splint to be applied to the lower ach; 2) nanotechnological devices based on carbon nanotubules and quantum dots (Taopatch®) positioned on C7 and xiphoid process. Four functional tests were performed: surface electromyography (sEMG), kinesiography, the squat jump and counter movement jump and handgrip test. The tests were performed in the following order: at the baseline (no treatments), and after having applied the bite alone, the occlusal splint and Taopatch® devices together and the Taopatch® devices alone.
Results: The sEMG showed an increased maximum clenching voltage in respect of the baseline for all treatments that included the occlusal splint. The kinesiography showed an improvement of the movements of the occlusal muscles. The squat jump increased the height of 10-14 mm, the best results registered with the bite. The handgrip showed an increased strength, that was higher with the bite and the Taopatch® devices used alone (~5 lbs.).
Conclusions: The use of an occlusal splint and Taopatch® devices use alone or in conjunction immediately influenced strength and balance of the occlusal postural muscles.