This is one of the most unknown fields of dentistry by society, we talk about the affectation of oral health in sport.
Advances in sports dentistry have shown that oral conditions act directly or indirectly on the athlete, altering their general health and compromising their sports performance.
It was not many years ago that the studies that gave life to the so-called sports dentistry began and that brought to light problems that until then had been ignored by athletes, trainers and even dentists themselves.
The problems that arise in our mouth can affect the rest of the body, this happens to all people, but it has a more significant impact on professional athletes for whom their job consists of putting their bodies to the limit.
The cause-effect relationship between oral and muscular health is clear, therefore there is a strict relationship between oral health and sports injuries.
In this way, the bacteria and infections present in our body are directly related to muscular, respiratory, joint and cardiovascular problems. Despite this, very few athletes undergo regular oral check-ups or who take their problems of this nature into account when looking for the focus of an injury or physical inconvenience.
One of the aspects that can affect sports performance the most is bacterial plaque. When it comes into contact with the bloodstream it can cause clots causing heart problems. Infections such as tooth decay or periodontal disease can also cause joint or muscle injuries or complicate their cure once they have been suffered.
The scientific reason is that the blood carries the bacteria from oral infections to the muscles and joints, producing asthenia that manifests itself in the form of muscle fatigue and excessive tiredness.
This leads to a loss of fibrillar tone, causing muscle fatigue or joint inflammation, reason enough to produce tears, joint pain, or tendon injuries in people who subject their systems to high wear and tear.
Apart from infections, malocclusion also produces other types of pathologies. According to studies, 30% of back and neck muscle pain are caused by improper chewing. The same defect can also cause balance defects.
Awareness in the field of sports dentistry led to the creation in 2001 of the Spanish Society of Sports Dentistry (SEOD). In Blanco dental health we have adopted the guidelines that this organization has set since then for the treatment of professional and amateur athletes. If oral health is important for any ordinary person, it is even more so for those who make their body their way of life.
Maintaining proper tooth and gum hygiene will help us prevent problems in any other part of the body.
Low performance can be focused on the athlete's mouth, so taking care of it is essential.
Sports and Soccer Dentistry
Sports dentistry applies to all professional or amateur athletes or people who practice sports and who therefore suffer from problems that compromise oral health at some point.
Sports dentistry is the treatment and prevention of oral / facial sports injuries and oral diseases.
Sports medicine specialists, in addition to dentists, agree that there may be a correlation between the state of oral health (infections in the mouth, cavities, periodontitis, malocclusions) and muscle injuries.
One of the possible means that are discussed that can relate oral health to muscle injuries is due to the fact that the teeth are irrigated by blood, so that in the event of a dental infection, bacteria enter the bloodstream that goes to all the parts affecting the muscles and will most likely weaken.
The oral care of soccer players is a complicated task, due to the numerous competitions in which they participate, which usually does not allow adequate planning and monitoring by the dentist.
The oral examination carried out before the beginning of the season, as well as the periodic control by the dentist, is important to prevent the appearance of cavities, periodontal disease, trauma and other oral pathologies that can interfere with the athlete's health and performance. sports.
From our point of view, the time, effort and money invested in achieving the highest level of physical condition, should not be put at risk by foreseeable oral problems that can occur before or during the competition.
Therefore, from here I recommend to all soccer players a dental check-up every 6 months and maintenance of oral health with their trusted dentist.
Injury Prevention In Sports Dentistry
One of the biggest concerns in sports dentistry is the prevention of orofacial injuries that occur during practice. An essential element to achieve this goal is the mouth guard, a device that placed inside the mouth prevents and reduces oral injuries, especially of the teeth and adjacent structures.
Participation in sports activities carries a reasonable risk of oral injuries. These injuries, currently applied in sports dentistry, are one of the most relevant concerns, since they are often irreversible and can lead to functional, aesthetic and psychological problems in athletes.
For this reason, its prevention is justified, the mouth guard being the sports dentistry treatment that most helps to reduce the risk of possible oral injuries during sports.
Sports Mouth Guard
According to the Sports Academy for Sports Dentistry, the challenge of sports dentistry is to maximize the benefits of participation and limit injuries.
Prevention is the key element in minimizing dental injuries that occur in sport. In this sense, the sports mouthguard acts by absorbing and dissipating a very important part of the energy in the impact area.
Its main functions in sports dentistry are reducing the incidence of orofacial injuries, soft tissue lacerations, temporomandibular joint injuries, and jaw fractures.
Although the athlete's attitude towards the mouthguard is generally positive, players find it difficult to use due to dry mouth, nausea, instability, and difficulty in breathing and phonation caused by it.
There are two types of mouth guards used in sports dentistry:
- Type II mouth guards or adapted to hot water.
- Type III mouth guards or custom made by the dentist, in the physical performance of athletes.
The type III for its better adaptation since they are made by the dentist specializing in sports dentistry tailored to the athlete's mouth, have a less influence on sports performance when compared to type II.
The implementation of the use of the sports dentistry mouthguard while practicing risk sports, such as rugby, hockey, boxing, basketball or soccer, can help reduce the frequency and severity of orofacial injuries.
The more comfortable and better adapted the mouth guards, the easier it will be to generalize their use among athletes from the beginning of their sporting activity, so that it becomes one more element of sports equipment.
Relationship Between Sports Performance And Oral Health
We know Sports Dentistry as that discipline that is responsible for studying the influence of oral health with sports, since it has been proven that good oral care makes sports practice more pleasant and safe.
Despite this importance, the mouth is one of the aspects that we take care of the least, a practice that is not recommended if we take into account that oral pathologies can be directly related to diseases that affect other organs such as the heart, liver or even the muscular system .
And this is because the bacteria that are located in the mouth in an infection reach the blood and therefore different diseases of a general nature such as diabetes, respiratory problems or erectile dysfunction can appear.
Luckily, maintaining good oral health at a sports level is becoming increasingly important, and it is highly recommended that athletes, both first-rate and amateur, undergo periodic check-ups in order to maintain good oral health, and it is that any condition will alter the athlete's performance.
On the other hand, we must also highlight the relationship of dental health with joint and muscle injuries, so common in the world of sports, and it is scientifically proven that this type of injury can be a direct consequence of oral infectious sources.
It is important to take into account that only in the mouth millions of bacteria are housed and in the case of careless oral hygiene, germs can appear that are the cause of both tooth decay and all kinds of periodontal diseases, and as we have already mentioned these infections Not only will they affect the mouth, but the consequences are also distributed throughout the body through the blood, with muscles and joints being one of the most affected areas in this sense, producing asthenia that will manifest itself through muscle fatigue and general tiredness, since this condition will slow down the contraction / relaxation of the muscle, especially in first level athletes.
In fact, it has been shown in many patients that once oral pathologies are solved, muscle pain disappears, and it is not always easy to find the origin of these problems since oral problems are not usually related to muscle ailments.
In addition to the muscle problems caused by tooth decay or periodontal lesions, we must add the problems caused by malocclusion, in fact it is estimated that 30% of muscle pain in the neck or back is due to the fact that the patient does not chews correctly, mainly due to the crossbite.
Due to the importance of proper dental health in the sports field at Salud Dental Blanco, we are specialized in treating top-level athletes and for this we take into account the personal situation of these patients, where among other characteristics they have a greater possibility of suffering cavities due to your excessive consumption of carbohydrates and beverages high in sugar.
In the event that an athlete suffers the absence of a tooth, it is highly recommended that they undergo a dental implant, since this deficiency will make it possible for food not to be crushed correctly and this situation will cause all kinds of alterations in the device digestive system and may even lead to poor nutrition.
Other very common conditions in top-level athletes are cranio-mandibular conditions and in this sense it is necessary to highlight the resentment suffered by the temporomandibular joints due to bruxism produced by stress, and this factor will not only affect the wear of the teeth , since in addition to this it is the origin of different muscular pains in the head, neck or back.
In order to protect and prevent bruxism, splints are becoming more and more common in athletes, a very interesting option that has the function of not overloading the temporomandibular joints during the game or competition, being a very useful prevention tool in sports. Sports world.
After knowing the theory about Dentistry in the world of sports, it is time to learn about real cases to have a greater awareness of this situation, such as the case of a soccer player in the Spanish First Division who continuously suffered cramps during matches. until it was discovered that the origin of these muscular problems was due to tooth decay, and once this pathology was solved, this situation no longer occurred.
Another example of the importance of dental health in sports is played by Aly Ciossokho, a young promise from Porto who saw how Milan rejected his signing due to a dental malformation in which the teeth of the upper and lower jaw did not fit properly correct, this being a situation that could lead to all kinds of physical problems in the future and that would harm the young footballer's career.
Finally, another example of top-level athletes is found in Bebeto, one of the most decisive players who have passed through Spain, who found the origin of his continuous headaches due to chewing gum during matches.
Due to this importance between oral health and sports, the Spanish Society of Sports Dentistry (SEOD) was created in 2001 and since then it has enjoyed great popularity throughout the country.
For their part, specialists warn of the importance of dental health due to its relationship with the performance of a professional athlete. In this way, it is clear that the best option in medicine, including dentistry, is prevention, and it is important that athletes carry out periodic check-ups before the start of the season, as well as in case of frequent muscle or joint injuries.
Finally, we cannot forget oral hygiene, so it is vitally important to brush your teeth several times a day and use dental floss to remove the remains of food lodged in those spaces where the brush cannot reach.
In short, we have been able to know the relationship that exists between dentistry and sport, where it has become clear that the optimal performance of the athlete will depend, to a large extent, on proper dental health.
Athletics And Oral Health
Intense physical exercise is beneficial to our general health, but, apart from the risk of injury, there is one part of our body that could be seriously affected, and it is the last one we would imagine: the teeth.
That professional athletes have serious oral hygiene problems is no surprise. At the 2012 London Olympics, a team of dentists examined the teeth of 278 athletes from around the world and concluded that most had "poor dental health", including high levels of cavities, as well as dental problems. gums and enamel.
The study, published in The British Journal of Sports Medicine, did not explain why the athletes had such poor dental health, but most dentists assumed it could be due to their increased consumption of sugary drinks and energy bars. But they were wrong, the key does not lie in diet, but in the way in which sports practice affects our saliva
New research, published in The Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, has studied the causes why physical exercise affects our teeth so negatively and has come to the conclusion that the key does not lie in diet, but in the way sports practice affects our saliva.
Triathlon Seriously Impairs Oral Health
To find out what happens in the athletes' mouths while they play sports, researchers at the dental school of the Heidelberg University Hospital (Germany) recruited 35 triathletes and 35 adults of the same age and in good health, but who did not practice sports .
The scientists examined the oral health of all the participants, took saliva tests, and asked them about their eating, hygiene and sports habits. Fifteen of the athletes, in addition to passing these exams, completed a 35-minute race during which the researchers took saliva samples.
After analyzing the data, the dentists found that, as previous studies had indicated, the oral health of the athletes was notably worse than that of the control group. And, within the sports group, it was the athletes who trained the most who had the most cavities. They also found that the consumption of soft drinks and other typical foods of athletes had no influence on oral health and saliva of all participants in the study, both athletes and non-athletes, was similar.
The consumption of soft drinks and other typical foods of athletes had no influence on oral health
But things changed when they analyzed the athletes' saliva while exercising. During the race, the amount of saliva generated was reduced and the mouths became dry even though the participants were able to drink while exercising. In addition, the scientists found that the chemical composition of saliva changed during sports - and this is the most important finding of the study -, becoming more alkaline as exercise progressed.
An excess of alkalinity in saliva (that is, its ability to neutralize acids) is directly related to the development of plaque on the teeth, which seems to explain why athletes have so many oral problems.
The finding has come as a surprise to researchers. As Dr. Cornelia Frese, one of the study's lead authors, has acknowledged to The New York Times, her team hoped to find a relationship between athletes' own nutrition and, above all, energy drinks, and the poor condition of their teeth. . But the crux of the matter lies in the saliva.
Like all scientists, Frese is cautious about the results of her research. In his opinion, the majority of the population should not worry about their teeth when they go to the gym, since, at the moment, this relationship has only been verified in athletes who train at least nine hours a week. "All we can say is that prolonged resistance training could be a risk factor for oral health," concludes Frese.
Future studies will say if the amateur athlete should also worry about his teeth. Until then, we can only follow three tips: drink more water during workouts (although it is not clear that this helps too much), brush our teeth well and visit the dentist more.
Sport And Oral Health
Improve your oral health and at the same time your sports performance. Oral health has a direct impact on sports performance. Back pain in the muscles or inadequate breathing has, in many cases, its origin in an oral health problem.
In 2003, FC Barcelona carried out its first investigation to measure the impact of players' oral health on their sports performance. The study showed that poor oral health can lead to balance problems, muscle injuries, headaches or cramps.
Preventive Treatments And Recommended Techniques
Orthodontic and Invisalign System
Orthodontics, in addition to improving the aesthetics of the face, helps protect the teeth, gums, jawbone and jaw joints, and prevents muscle pain and other types of pain.
Invisalign is an innovative orthodontic system that replaces braces or other elements that can cause injuries during sports with an invisible custom made aligner.
In addition, it promotes muscle relaxation in the temporomandibular area caused by the reflex action of pressing the teeth in moments of tension or stress.
The stress caused by the practice of sport and competition is released, in many cases, by clenching the teeth continuously. This causes wear of the teeth and muscle aches in the head, neck and back. The solution to this problem is the use of discharge splints, as they allow stress relief, thereby eliminating tooth wear and muscle pain.
In The Best Hands
Sports performance is directly related to oral health. Therefore, in White Dental Health We work for athletes who want to increase their performance by taking care of their dental health.
- We facilitate sports practice based on appropriate dental techniques and treatments.
- We protect teeth, lips, gums, jaw bones and jaw joints with solutions designed for each case.
- We increase performance thanks to the prevention and treatment of dental and muscular conditions that reduce sports performance.
PLEASE CALL US IF YOU HAVE AN EMERGENCY
We are here to serve you and your well-being is our great commitment.