Why Athletes Have Bad Teeth

athleteolyDuring Olympic years the lives and health of Olympic athletes are a popular topic. Since the last Olympics the dental health-or lack thereof-of Olympic athletes has been in the news time and again. Athletes have been cited for their poor dental health including tooth decay, missing teeth, and periodontal disease. If you’re wondering why athletes, who seem to be in great shape physically, are suffering from poor dental health, read on as we discuss why athletes have bad teeth.

Diet

The major reason for the poor dental health of athletes seems to be diet. Athletes guzzle bottle after bottle of sports drinks which are flavored beverages high in sugar and contain minerals such as potassium and sodium. Athletes also eat diets high in carbohydrates in addition to consuming acidic sugary energy drinks. Harmful oral bacteria thrive on carbohydrates which eventually break down into sugar. As the bacterium metabolize these food and beverage leftovers they produce enamel eating acids which contribute to tooth decay and erosion.

Dehydration

Another culprit can be dehydration from intense training schedules. If your body does not get enough water it cannot produce saliva. Saliva helps fight tooth decay by remineralizing tooth enamel and washing away bad bacteria that cause decay.

Dental Health

If an athlete’s rigorous schedule does not allow time for dental hygiene which consists of brushing for two minutes at least twice a day, flossing daily, rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash and attending dental visits for a professional cleaning twice yearly, their high carbohydrate diets and over-consumption of acidic, sugary sports drinks can play havoc on their dental health and does. A 2014 study found that one-fifth of London’s 2012 Olympic athletes reported bleeding gums and toothaches, 18 percent reported dental problems that affected their ability to perform, and just under 50 percent had not seen a dentist in the past year.

About Your Reno Dentists

Dr. William Wager, Dr. Brian Evans, and our highly experienced team at Wager Evans Dental are devoted to our patients and their families, and dedicated to providing first-rate dental care in a comfortable, inviting environment. Located in Reno, we proudly welcome residents from Spanish Springs, Sparks, Incline Village, Dayton, Fernley, and all surrounding communities. To schedule a consultation or your next dental appointment, visit our office, or contact us today by calling (775) 800-4845.