High performance sport and bad teeth?
Top athletes suffer more often from dental problems! This was already discussed in a publication in «British Journal of Sports Medicine» (2014; doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2014-093804). At the 2014 London Olympics, toothache was one of the most common health problems faced by athletes. As much as 30% of medical consultations during the Games were for toothache: the second most common reason for consultations!
Athletes were asked about dental problems and as many as 18% admitted that toothache had a negative impact on their performance. Almost half of the athletes admitted not having seen a dentist in the past year.
Unfortunately, this is not a new problem:
Ian Needleman from the Eastman Dental Institute in London found a total of 39 studies, all of which document poor dentition in top athletes: between 15 and 75 percent of athletes suffer from tooth decay, up to 15 percent from periodontal disease. Tooth enamel erosion was found in 36 to 85 percent of athletes.
Unfortunately, oral hygiene was equally bad for all athletes, no matter what country they came from, and one in 20 athletes even said that his performance was suffering from the toothache.
Unfortunately, competitive sport has a direct influence on the poor condition. The intense physical strain during sporting activity leads to a dry mouth. As a result of dehydration, the amount of saliva is drastically reduced and the mouth becomes dry. The teeth thus lose their natural protection against tooth decay and erosion. At the same time, many athletes cover their high energy requirements with carbohydrates, which are found in abundance in energy drinks and energy bars. This combination leads to a bomb effect!
What can be done about it?
Regular and thorough cleaning after meals is absolutely essential. I also recommend rinsing your mouth regularly with water or even better, with a fluoride solution during sporting activity. The Snow Shine Whitening Foam from Snow Pearl is particularly suitable for this: it contains fluoride, is excellent at moisturizing the mucous membranes of the mouth, contains lavender oil and propolis (a natural antibiotic produced by bees). The small 50 ml pack from Snow Shine can easily be taken with you during training and has around 200 doses. The light foam should best be applied directly in the mouth, the mouth should be rinsed with it for a few seconds and then thrown out. Completed!
I strongly advise athletes to go to the dentist for a health check once a year and to have dental hygiene carried out once or twice a year.
dr Lorenza Dahm