Athletes’ Dental Health and Their Performance
The connection between athletes and dental health is not obvious to the casual observer. But two separate studies found an interesting and concerning relationship.
The first study, published in September of 2015, found that the great amount of energy needed by athletes to perform at their best often resulted in their drinking sugary and acidic energy drinks and eating diets high in carbohydrates. The combined effect was more dental decay than the general population. The recommendations for solutions were surprisingly simple, such as proper instructions for how to effectively clean their teeth.
The second study was done with top professional athletes at the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games. The athletes were asked two questions pertinent to their oral health: had they visited the dentist in the last year, and did their oral health negatively impact their performance. For the first question, nearly half (46.5 percent) of the athletes reported not visiting the dentist in the past year. For the second, 18 percent of the respondents reported that their oral health impacting their performance, likely a result of pain and inability to sleep well.
The indication is clear that athletes need to spend time on their oral health. This simple daily ritual of brushing twice daily and flossing, can genuinely make the difference between standing on the medal podium or not. The last thing a professional athlete needs to be thinking about is the pain in the mouth due to poor oral hygiene.
Talk to our dentist to get tips on proper dental care and to learn more about how to avoid this unnecessary distraction.
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