What do sports have to do with teeth?

“Sports” and “teeth” don’t seem to have anything in common.

However, it has been reported that great dental alignment leads to a great sense of balance that is needed in playing sports. In certain sports, it has been said that clenching the back teeth helps produce significant power. However, there is more to it; a healthy mouth contributes to a healthy body, and vice-versa. Therefore, poor oral health can impact on your general health and worsen your performance while playing any sport. In turn, being engaged in some competition may also impact negatively on your oral health.

According to many experts, there are few causes for that: the intensive training and extreme conditions athletes push their bodies through, or the high intake of calories athletes need to take, usually provided by sports drinks with high added sugar content. Also, most of the athletes experience dry mouth, which is a perfect condition for bacteria to grow.

Even though “sports” and “oral health” are deeply related, it has been reported that the oral condition of top athletes and professional football players in the Olympics is surprisingly poor.

A survey carried out on 399 athletes during the 2012 Olympic Games found out that 55.1% had dental caries, 44.6% suffered dental erosion, 76% had periodontal disease, and, most importantly, more than 40% of athletes were ‘bothered’ by their oral health: 28% reported an impact on quality of life and 18% on training and performance

Sunstar supports the launch of the “Sports & Dentistry” guidelines with the World Dental Federation (FDI)

Sunstar, a multinational company with a strong presence in the Oral Care Market with its brands GUM and GUIDOR, believes in sustaining a healthy body through a healthy mouth, therefore, they have partnered with the World Dental Federation (FDI) to launch the ‘Sports & Dentistry’ guidelines. This project wants to draw attention to the relationship between oral health and sports performance and the importance of making oral health a priority for both professional and amateur athletes.

According to the FDI, the basic oral care recommendations when practising sports are brushing the teeth twice a day, interdental brushing and mouthwash, and dental check-up twice a year. Also, it is highly recommended to wear a mouthguard when engaging in contact sports.

Every day more and more people are engaging in sports, and it is essential to make oral care a priority if their goal is to be healthy in body and mind. Indeed, this is a huge opportunity to raise awareness about the importance of oral hygiene and the moment to start applying a holistic approach to health”, states Dr Marzia Massignani, Sr Manager Scientific Affairs and Corporate Communications at Sunstar.

For over 30 years, Sunstar has been contributing to research and raising awareness about the two-way relationship between oral health and general health. Under #ThePerioLink project, SUNSTAR gives visibility to the connection between the inflammation in the mouth caused by gum disease (gingivitis in its mild form and periodontitis in its severe form) and the inflammation in the whole body. This link has been widely studied, reporting associations between poor oral health and other diseases such as diabetes. As a result, when oral health is improved, there is a positive influence on the overall health and well-being. The company supports several projects that raise awareness about the many impacts of poor oral health in the body and encourages the population to take care of themselves holistically.

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