The Spanish Society of Periodontology and Osseointegration (SEPA) has produced a scientific report that points to the association between poor oral and periodontal health and reduced sporting performance.
Oral health influences sports performance and, in the same way, sport influences oral health.
From this premise arises sports dentistry. A discipline that aims to treat diseases or oral manifestations that affect the general state of the sportsman or woman.
Based on the scientific literature, dentists and sports doctors agree on the importance of carrying out dental examinations and check-ups for all athletes who are going to start any discipline. Because perfection, excellence and high performance in any sport can only be achieved with complete health. And this of course includes oral health.
It is not only a question of curative treatments, but also of preventive actions. Such actions can prevent major ills, as is the case with mouth guards. According to specialists, these protectors reduce oral injuries to below 1% when used properly. Furthermore, it has been proven that their prolonged use can increase sports performance.
Bruxism, caries, trauma, dental erosion, occlusion problems, gingivitis and periodontitis are some of the most common diseases found in sportsmen and women of all levels. The most relevant factors causing bad dental health are usually
- Nutritional imbalances. Such as frequent consumption of carbohydrates, isotonic and energy drinks or sweetened juices.
- Alteration in the immune mechanisms due to dehydration. Dry mouth and intensive training.
- Psychological changes. These cause a decrease in salivary secretion and dryness of the mouth.
- Little knowledge of dental health.
- Lack of preventive measures.
- Do sport, with a healthy smile
There are many risks that an athlete can take. For example, as explained in a study published by the American Dental Association’s magazine, chlorine is a major problem for swimmers. People who train more than 6 hours a week in swimming pools can suffer from so-called “swimmer’s tartar”. This is a pathology that causes brown or yellowish spots to appear on your teeth, as well as a greater probability of developing gingivitis or periodontitis.
On the other hand, in sports such as mountain climbing or underwater activities you can suffer severe pain, due to changes in environmental pressure.
In short, it is crucial for sportsmen and women to receive special and specific dental care and above all a lot of information on the prevention of oral diseases and their sporting consequences.