The importance of great oral health is indisputable, and a great deal of people who lead an active lifestyle and maintain a healthy body weight, follow a healthy diet and pay a great attention on what kind of foods they are eating, visit health care specialists on a regular basis, and do everything possible to eliminate negative effects of current environment, also strictly stick with the rules of daily oral care. Undoubtedly, professional athletes and sportsmen are among such people who must take great care about their health. At the same time, according to the findings of the latest research, quite a lot of sportsmen have very poor oral health. Those are the conclusions of the specialists from Unit of Periodontology and International Centre for Evidence-Based Oral Health, UCL Eastman Dental Institute.
The scientists carried out their study right in the camp of the athletes’ village during the Olympic Games 2012 in London. They collected information on over 300 athletes in 25 kinds of sports who participated the Olympic Games. 95 of the athletes (55 per cent of the participants) were involved in such sports as running or team sports, 38 athletes (14 per cent of the participants) were boxers, 31 athlete (11.5 per cent) were involved in field hockey. Most of the study participants came from the countries of Europe, Africa, South and North America. The scientists performed common dental check ups and also interviewed the participants as to their daily oral health care routine. After analyzing the collected materials, the scientists came up with interesting results.
It turned out that overwhelming majority of athletes complained about their oral health despite the fact that they follow usual dental care routine quite well. At that, about 55 per cent of the participants have shown the signs of dental caries, and about 41 per cent of the participants even had very clear symptoms of dental erosion (a type of more serious dental caries). Moreover, up to 76 per cent of the participants were diagnosed with gingivitis, and about 15 per cent of the athletes from the participant group had periodontists. As the interview has shown, every three of five participants were bothered by their poor oral health to a great extent. 28 per cent of the participants underlined that poor oral health affected their life quality, and every one of five participants expressed the idea that poor oral health had serious effects on their training and performance.
As a summary, the researchers said that dental and oral health of athletes turned out to be very poor, and it was highly recommended to every sportsman to pay a proper attention to dental care. They underline that oral health is a very important element of our overall health and wellbeing, and poor dental health always brings a lot of pain and discomfort which can have negative effects on life quality and especially on training. As a cause of the discovered phenomena, the scientists see using too much of foods rich in carbohydrates, as well as some energy boosting beverages rich in sugar. Also, they assume that busy training schedule and a lot of traveling can be a reason for improper dental care on a daily basis for modern time’s athletes. Finally, increased training routine of athletes can be linked to impaired function of the immune system resulting in increased risks for dental problems.