We have recently read a super interesting article in Dental Town UK called Oral Health and Elite Athletes, It is defiantly worth a read and we have decided to point out a few interesting facts they have shared.
The article is written by Deborah Lyle, and It highlights some of the problems elite sporting athletes have experienced as a side effects from there super fit lifestyles,
We thought this was worth sharing as we are all trying to get fit and healthy but we don’t want you to stop looking after your Oral hygiene in the process, so hopefully we can still get fit and avoid any risk!
Exercise has numerous health benefits as we are often told, including antioxidants, anti-inflammatory effects and can help protect against some systemic diseases, not to mention the endorphin’s so we feel great too.
Research from as far back as the Olympic games in 1968 shows that elite sportsmen and woman are more likely to have dental caries, periodontal disease and dental erosion,
And in a much more recent study of 300 competitors that attended the Dental clinic in the 2012 London Olympic Games revealed that 55 percent had dental caries, 45 percent had dental erosion and 76 percent had gingivitis!
We think you will agree the figures speak for themselves and the statistics are actually quite alarming.
So why is this happening?
Elite sporting athletes have many added things to contend with as they have such structured fitness regimes, but things that many of us will contend with them when being active these include:
Oral dehydration: Several sporting activities reduce the salivary flow (the amount of saliva produced) one of the effects this can have on oral health is that saliva neutralizes acid, so helps to reduce the risk of acid erosion.
Nutritional intake: Whilst training to keep up energy levels athletes drink a large amount of sports drinks, these contain high levels of sugar and acid, the article also goes into more detail about some weight loss measures in some types of elite athletes that can have a detrimental effect of their oral hygiene.
So what could be done to prevent this?
We all know the importance of regular dental check-ups, on average it is advised that a patient should visit their dentist every 6 months, and have a scale and polish if recommended by the dentist.
Good oral hygiene is a must- it’s so simple but what you do at home is the key to success! Just remembering to brush twice daily for at least two minutes with fluoride toothpaste, and remember just spit afterwards no rinsing!
Always avoid brushing straight after any acidic drinks or snacks as this can cause acid erosion.
Floss every day – I know so many hate it but it really does make a difference.
A fluoride mouth rinse can also be used as an extra measure, top tip: It helps to do this at a separate time from brushing.
Diet – Avoid excess acid intake, for example fizzy drinks, fruit juice, and fruit like pineapples, oranges, tomatoes, grapefruit etc. also alcohol such as beer.
Overall we think that a well balance diet, looking after your dental and general health, along with moderate exercise is all important when it comes to looking after ourselves, and if you are involved with extreme exercise perhaps some of these tips will help reduce the risk of any avoidable long term damage when it comes to your oral care.
Our general dentists here at Newport Pagnell dental clinic would be happy to go over these tips in more detail or answer any of your questions or concerns,
Call today to book an appointment on: 01908 610536 or check out our website: https://newportpagnelldental.co.uk/