Why Do Athletes Tend to Have More Oral Health Issues?
Posted on 7/23/2020 by Dr. Dennison
If there was anyone you would think would have excellent oral health, it would be athletes. Athletes do such a great job taking care of their bodies, it makes sense they would also have perfect teeth. However, researchers say that is not the case. In fact, there are many research studies that discuss athletes suffer from higher rates of damage to their teeth than people who are not professional athletes. If you are wondering how that is possible, keep reading. We have information on athletes and their oral health.
The Obvious Problem with Sports Injuries
Many athletes have a problem with sports injuries that affect their teeth and gums. If athletes do not wear mouthguards, they can suffer an injury to their mouth. Thirty percent of all injuries to athletes occur in the facial area. If an athlete is injured by a blow to the face, he or she can knock teeth loose, or even knock teeth out permanently. They can also suffer injuries to their jaw joint, which can cause problems with bite and teeth alignment.
The Problem with Tooth Decay and Gum Disease in Athletes
We are willing to bet that most people in the general population believe that athletes have the healthiest mouths out there. Research indicates otherwise. In fact, athletes suffer from a higher incidence of tooth decay and gum disease than the rest of the population. Researchers have an idea why athletes suffer from tooth decay and gum disease, even if they brush and floss regularly.
Researchers believe that athletes suffer from higher rates of tooth decay and gum disease because of their diets. Athletes drink a lot of sports drinks to restore the electrolytes lost during exercise. They also use sports gum and sports gels to restore their body fluids lost during exercise or training. All sports drinks, chews, and gels have a lot of sugar in them. Also, athletes' mouths are dry during exercise, which allows bacteria to grow more quickly. All of this adds up to poorer oral hygiene than the rest of the population.
If you are worried about your oral hygiene because of your exercise routine, contact us. We can give you pointers on improving your oral health.