The lack of oral health among professional athletes is surprising. One might think they have access to the best oral and dental health available. So why is their oral health so bad? Not only can poor oral health have adverse effects on your overall health, according to the British Journal of Sports Medicine, athletes themselves believe it has adverse effects on their training and performance as well. Read on to learn why athletes should take care of their oral health.
Poor Oral Health
A 2012 British study of the oral health of Olympic athletes showed that there is a high level of poor oral health among them. The survey included 302 North and South Americans, Africans, and European athletes from 25 sports. The results were as follows:
- Nearly half of participants had not visited a dentist in the previous year.
- More than 75 percent of participants presented with gingivitis (mild gum disease).
- Fifteen percent presented with gum disease.
- Dental erosion was found in 45 percent.
- Fifty-five percent presented with dental caries.
- Twenty-eight percent of participants felt their poor oral health impacted their life.
- Eighteen percent complained that it had a negative impact on their training and performance.
Your oral health not only can indicate infection, nutritional deficiencies, and systemic diseases, it can impact every aspect of your overall health. Oral health promotion and dental disease prevention for athletes are highly recommended to maintain overall health and optimize athletic performance.
Learn more about the connection between athletes and oral health
Aside from providing dependable general and restorative dentistry services to our community, Dr. James Fondriest also holds respected academic appointments at the Pankey Institute in Key Biscayne, FL, and the Spear Institute in Scottsdale, AZ, and he is a former adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Prosthodontics at the University of Florida Dental School. At Lake Forest Dental Arts, Dr. Fondriest combines his impressive array of experience with modern technology and caring, compassionate, knowledgeable staff, and we proudly serve patients from West Forest Lake, Kennedy, Lake Bluff, Skokie, Junction, and all surrounding communities. To schedule a consultation, call our office today at (847) 234-0517.