When it comes to athletes, you’ll probably think of people who are at the peak of health. With the active lifestyle that they lead, it’s no wonder that people will usually put athletes and healthy together. But is it true all the time?
Research says the opposite.
Contrary to what people think, the more famous athletes are more likely to have poor oral health. Researchers found that the active lifestyle – which supposedly makes them healthy – is actually the one that makes them unhealthy orally.
The Link between Athletes and Bad Teeth
A study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine suggested that bad teeth concerns elite athletes all over the globe. Researchers found that the oral health of the world’s top professional sportsmen and women is almost, if not equal to, that of non-athletes who can’t afford dental treatments.
This conclusion came from a review on 39 published studies on the same topics. These findings are proven further by the London 2012 Olympic Games, wherein oral health issues accounted for about a third of medical visits by athletes.
What’s causing bad teeth in athletes?
The staff from Welcome Bay Dental Care agrees that diet is a leading cause of poor oral health in athletes. Athletes tend to indulge in high-carb diets and sports drinks before and during competitions. These food and drinks cause damage to the enamel, thus leading to teeth loss in the long run.
Another reason is the life athletes lead. Those who are into weight-specific sports like boxing, horse riding and gymnastics usually go on a crash diet to meet the requirements. Furthermore, the extreme physical activities that they go through drains saliva faster, thus causing bacteria to grow further.
Occupational hazard is responsible for poor oral health in athletes as well. The demands of their sport make them prone to accidents. The injuries are sometimes severe that they experience teeth loss.
Prevention and Treatment
Athletes should wear compulsory mouth guards to avoid sport-related oral injuries. They should also visit the dentist to treat such injuries and other existing oral problems.
Researchers suggest that athletes should learn the importance of good dental health and its impacts to performance as well. They should come up with measures to meet their profession’s requirements through healthier means.
Good health is not limited to a well-toned body. It extends to dental health as well. That’s why athletes should try to achieve the latter by living a healthy lifestyle.