A Guide for Those Who Care about Their Smile

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Poor Oral Health Is Common Among Modern Athletes

Poor Oral HealthThe 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.

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Poor Oral Health Affects School Grades

When we are kids, everything really matters to us. They way we look, the way we speak, our eating habits, our lifestyle, choices – everything has a huge impact on our life, our viewpoints, our understanding of this world and our health. Certainly, dental care routines and oral health of children also have a considerable impact on their life and health. Kids with bad teeth are more laughed at by their peers, they receive less attention and less praise from the people around them (generally speaking, of course). Poor Oral HealthAccording to the findings of a recent study, poor oral health, problematic teeth and dental diseases are closely linked to lower academic success and poorer school grades. Those are the conclusions of an expert team at the Ostrow School of Dentistry of the University of Southern California.

During the study, American expert team has collected and analyzed tons of information on over 1,500 elementary and high school kids (located mainly in the Los Angeles Unified School District), most of who were somehow in a social or economic disadvantage. A great deal of related factors were looked closely at and analyzed, until the scientists noticed certain tendencies. It turned out that poor oral health of most of the kids has been usually linked to poorer academic performance, bad attendance records, and other negative factors. After summarizing the findings of the work, it turned out that about 73 per cent of kids in Los Angeles area with low academic success and poor performance in school suffer from moderate or serious dental problems, including cavities.

It is also reported that those kids who suffer from tooth aches and poor oral health are four times more likely to receive poor school grades, compared to the kids who do not have such problems. According to Roseann Mulligan, one of the study leaders and the director of the school’s Division of Dental Public Health and Pediatric Dentistry, poor oral health is not only linked to poor grades, but also to poorer attendance and even more missed work by the parents of such disadvantaged children. ‘On average, elementary children missed a total of 6 days per year, and high school children missed 2.6 days. For elementary students, 2.1 days of missed school were due to dental problems, and high school students missed 2.3 days due to dental issues,’ Mulligan commented on the findings of her colleagues.

Finally, a part of the study was dedicated to finding links between missing schools by kids and missing work by their parents due to poor oral health. It turned out that this factors causes about 11 per cent of total school missed time for those kids who had poor oral health or unavailable dental services (due to the reasons like no transportation, no health insurance, and so on). At that, those kids who had dental services available have shown only 4 per cent missed school time due to dental issues. Those are the negative educational effects of poor oral health, which are going to be reported shortly in one of the issues of the American Journal of Public Health.

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