Sports and Oral Health, a Close Relationship  

It may seem that oral problems can affect the overall health in any person, but the reality is that it gets severe in athletes.

Marisa Nufrio. 06/04/2016
PARIS, FRANCE - JUNE 08: Serena Williams of United States of America poses with the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen after victory in the Women's Singles Final match against Maria Sharapova of Russia during day fourteen of French Open at Roland Garros on June 8, 2013 in Paris, France. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Sport’s benefits for our health are recognised by any specialist. However, it isn’t quite known the fact that practicing any sport in a regular basis or having a high physical activity has a really close relationship with oral health Studies about it have been recently getting importance because there is a huge ignorance in this field.

Los deportistas deben tener especial cuidado con sus problemas bucodentales
Athletes must take care of their dental problems

In fact, just a few professionals are specialised in this special attention that athletes require. It may seem that oral problems can affect the overall health in any person, but the reality is that it gets severe in athletes. Moreover, these affections don’t need to be strange; something as simple as tartar, caries or malocclusion are some frequent problems that can seriously affect our physical performance.

La tensión puede provocar una mala mordida
Stress can cause a bad bite

Muscle injuries, neck and back pain and loose or lack of balance are some of the symptoms that some athletes show and apparently there is no clear explanation. However, its origin could come from oral malocclusion, or a bad bite. When upper and lower teeth don’t close properly, there isn’t enough contact points in between the more there is an excess or lack of a space, jaw suffers and torque trying to fix this des-compensation.  This fact can generate other muscles to get involved in this action and get affected and provoke pain and injuries.

El esfuerzo físico puede provocar problemas dentales
Some athletes have dental problems

Caries, can provoke muscle and join pain, even more if they are deep and we are doing an intense sports activity because the blood flow increases and it can cause pain and inflammation. Moreover, if we don’t keep a good oral hygiene, dental plaque is accumulated in the teeth’s surface that can also end up in our blood, so it provokes fatigue and a slowdown and the recovery of it.

La prevención es fundamental también en el caso de los deportistas
Athletes must also go to the dentist regularly

Also, there are studies that show that the practice of some sports can affect our teeth. A clear example is the wear that bruxism causes, provoked a lot of times by the practice of some sports that require an excess of strength or concentration and that sometimes, make them to squeeze too much their teeth.  Same happens with contact sports, where frequently athletes suffer hard hits that can end up in the loose of a dental piece. In these cases, it is recommended to use protective splints to keep safe our mouth.

Usar una férula protectora es esencial para los deportistas
Use a protective splint is highly recommended in some contact sports

It is always necessary to get a complete study to get a correct diagnosis and a personalized treatment adapted to every athlete’s needs. Frequent visits to the dentist, are also indispensable. This way, it is possible to prevent any problem or eliminate it if necessary to avoid our oral health to be an obstacle of our performance.

We should never forget that healthy eating habits and a good hygiene are fundamental for any person who want to keep a good oral health, even more if they practice sports regularly, using their physical skills to the limit.

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