Although health is a major topic of concern for individuals who play sports, there are still many athletes that forget about their oral health. In fact, a survey from the London 2012 Olympic Games discovered that 46.5% of athletes had not been to the dentist within the past year. What’s even more alarming is 18% of athletes also said that their oral health had a negative impact on their performance.
So, what is the connection between oral health and performance for athletes? These two topics are more related than you might think. That is because oral health is linked to our overall bodily health, which is obviously important for athletic performance. You can clearly see this connection when you consider the fact that oral health issues (like gum disease) are linked to systemic conditions. To explain more on this subject, dental implant provider, Dr. Ahmad Chaudhry shares dental care tips for athletes here in Bethlehem, PA.
The connection between oral health and athletic performance is linked to overall bodily health. As we said before, a healthy smile isn’t just great for your appearance! It’s also an important part of your overall health. Since all aspects of your health are integrated, your oral health can affect overall wellness and vice versa.
Researchers believe that oral health can affect athletic performance because poor oral health is characterized by inflammation, which negatively impacts health. Other factors like dental pain or poor self-confidence are believed to affect athletic performance.
Now that we understand why oral health is important for overall health and athletic performance, how can we keep our oral health in great shape? There are several specific concerns that are relevant to athletes. Here are some of the best ways athletes can keep their smile healthy and beautiful:
Drink More Water: Dry mouth is a common issue that athletes deal with. This is particularly important for endurance athletes. This is important because dry mouth increases the likelihood of tooth decay and gum disease. Having enough saliva is crucial for neutralizes acids in your mouth and washing away bacteria. We encourage athletes to drink more water to stay hydrated and avoid dry mouth.
Wear a Mouthguard: Dental injuries are the common reason behind tooth loss. If you play a contact sport, we strongly encourage you to wear a mouthguard. Mouthguards are affordable and will end up saving you the cost of expensive dental work in the future.
Avoid Sports Drinks: Sports drinks like Gatorade may help restore electrolytes, but they are also filled with sugar. The sugar in these drinks allows bacteria in your mouth to flourish and create acids that attack your tooth enamel. Ditch the sports drinks and opt for water instead!
If you’ve experienced tooth loss due to dental injury from sports or any other reason, we’re here to help! We’ve seen countless patients here at Lehigh Valley Oral Surgery and Implant Center enjoy a beautiful, complete smile with the help of dental implants. Dental implants don’t just give patients a natural-looking smile but it also addresses additional issues like jaw bone loss. To get started on your dental implant treatment, contact our office to schedule your no-obligation consultation with Dr. Chaudhry.
Dr. Ahmad Chaudhry
Lehigh Valley Oral Surgery and Implant Center
2571 Baglyos Circle, Suite B23
Monday: 7:30AM – 3PM
Tuesday: Emergencies by appointment
Wednesday: 8:30AM – 5PM
Thursday: 8:30AM – 5PM
Friday: 7:30AM – 3PM