18th February 2022

How Sport Can Effect Your Dental Health

New research suggests that 49.1 of top athletes have untreated tooth decay. Though keeping physically active is extremely beneficial for your overall health, there are some aspects in which it can have a negative impact; including your dental health. Maintaining your dental hygiene is vitally important if you’re an athlete, though often poor oral health goes untreated for many. Here’s a look into how sport can effect your dental health, and what can be done about it.

How Sport and Dental Hygiene Effect Each Other

You may be surprised to learn that sports and dental hygiene can impact one another. In fact, poor hygiene can be detrimental to an athlete’s performance. The nature of an athlete’s diet is generally: high consumption of carbohydrates, sports energy drinks, and protein bars or protein shakes. It’s thought that their mouth pH level can fall below 5.5, meaning there’s more acid, creating a higher risk of tooth decay and erosion. Many athletes believe that their oral health can have a negative impact on their performance.

Following the London 2012 Olympics, research undertaken by the British Journal of Sports Medicine revealed that 55 of athletes had tooth decay. Three quarters had gingivitis, and 15 were showing signs of irreversible gum infection. These figures are alarming, but they can spur athletes to seek help and stop the cycle from continuing. There are several ways athletes can better look after their oral health, including sports dentistry.

Regular Visits to The Dentist

Although it may seem obvious, regular visits to the dentist and hygienist will help athletes have more control over their oral health. A staggering 46.5 of athletes surveyed admitted they’d not been to the dentist in the past year. The team at Dental Solutions can help prevent problems before they start to manifest.

Ways To Help Resolve The Issue In The Long Run

Aside from regular dentist check-ups, there are some other ways an athlete can help improve their oral health:

  • Drink fewer fizzy energy drinks, ideally stick to water and use a drinking straw wherever possible. Sugar free protein shakes and energy drinks are also widely available.
  • Limit the amount of sugary foods and switch to sugar-free gum.
  • Mouth guards are a great way to protect your teeth if you are frequently partaking in high-performance sports such as football and rugby.
  • Try breathing nasally rather than orally, which can help keep the mouth moist. Open mouthed breathing dries it out.

Dentistry Treatment Options for Athletes

Dental Solutions offer a range of treatments, including hygienist services. We understand that your lifestyle may have left you neglecting your oral health, particularly if you’re a training athlete. We care for several elite sports people at this practice. If you are interested in any of our services, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly and attentive team on 01925 756565 and book a completely free consultation. You can also book online by following this link: https://gavinismydentist.com/booking

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