ROME – They are attentive to hygiene, eat healthily but for professional athletes oral health is at risk. Untreated caries and signs of gum inflammation are widespread and the blame could lie in the energy drinks, gels and energy bars they consume. According to research by the Ucl Eastman Dental Institute, published in the British Dental Journal.
Olympic athletes and problems with caries.
The research team examined the habits of 352 Olympic and professional athletes in 11 sports, including cycling, swimming, rugby, soccer, rowing, hockey, sailing and athletics, when they underwent dental checks. As emerged from a document already released in 2018, it was found that almost half (49.1%) had untreated caries, the vast majority showed early signs of gum inflammation and almost a third (32%) had reported that oral health had a negative impact on sports performance.
Athletes had poor oral health despite efforts to take care of their teeth: the new study found that 94% reported brushing their teeth at least twice a day and 44% regular cleaning even with dental floss. However, the researchers also discovered that athletes regularly use sports drinks (87%), energy bars (59%) and energy gels (70%).
"The athletes for the most part – explains Julie Gallagher, one of the researchers – already have good habits related to oral health, as they brush their teeth twice a day, visit the dentist regularly, do not smoke and follow a generally healthy diet . However, they use sports drinks, energy gels and bars frequently during training and competition and the sugar in these products increases the risk of caries and the acidity increases the risk of enamel erosion ". (source ANSA).
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Source: Blitz Quotidiano