How oral health influences sport
Although it may not seem so, the practice of sports and oral health are closely linked. So much so that many of the inconveniences we have in the mouth can be derived exactly from the practice of sports, while poor care of the mouth can have a negative influence on our performance when practicing a sport, no matter how hard it may be to find that relationship.
Factors such as the eating habits of athletes, the zeal of training or even the burden resulting from that exercise can create problems, hence the relevance of assisting professionals such as Abaden Dentists to make an annual review.
Sports and cavities
Theoretically, sport is associated with good eating habits, diets where sugar and related elements that can damage your teeth have no place. This is how it is, but it is also necessary to assess issues such as a higher and more usual consumption of carbohydrates than the rest of the population and very acidic energy drinks that can end up damaging the teeth. And one of the most frequent consequences of these habits that do not end up being the best is the appearance of cavities.
Protein shakes, isotonic drinks or packaged juices also encourage caries or oral erosion, which can also cause oral hypersensitivity. Another interesting aspect is mouth breathing. In the day after day we are not accustomed to resort to it, but to practice sport we are accustomed to breathe through the mouth. In addition to the stress associated with sport and the loss of liquids, the amount of saliva is reduced, which is also a danger factor for the appearance of these oral medical problems.
Many times these foodstuffs are indispensable for the restoration of the athlete, so they cannot be replaced. Nor will we change our way of breathing with what the best way to avoid these drawbacks is prevention. We have already talked about the relevance of having at least one oral check-up per year, but we should also brush our teeth after each meal, use floss or floss, look for isotonic with less sugars or hydrate very well, especially throughout the training.
Another of the consequences of oppression can be bruxism, better known as teeth grinding. It can be daily or nocturnal – this is more difficult to solve. Those who suffer from it grit their teeth, often unconsciously, which causes some wear on the buccal parts.
In the short term, bruxism, for example, can cause headaches that can have a negative influence on the practice of sport. Apart from contractures that will complicate us to supervise the head, the neck or the shoulders, with repercussions in the practice of golf, tennis and related sports. The inconveniences in the jaw also dismantle the passage of oxygen, and cavities and other inflammations can even affect the rest of athletes …
In the long term, it can cause essential oral lesions and gum problems (such as gingival recession), and the use of protectors or splints is one of the solutions. An orthodontist can also assist athletes, and anyone else, in solving the problems of bruxism.
To caries or bruxism are added other diseases, such as oral erosion, periodontal disease or occlusal inconveniences, without forgetting the danger of trauma in sports such as rugby, handball, judo, etc..
One of the solutions athletes use to avoid damage to their teeth in dangerous sports are mouthguards (flexible intraoral appliances that protect the teeth, mouth and jaw). It should be noted that while mouthguards can be purchased in stores, the best are those custom-made for the mouth by a dentist.
All of these nosologies can affect sports performance. For this reason, it is best to visit the dentist at least once a year and make sure your mouth is in perfect condition.