Here’s How Poor Oral Health Can Impact Athletic Performance

Here’s How Poor Oral Health Can Impact Athletic Performance

If you’re an athlete on a grueling schedule, the following couple of minutes of reading is going to give you a lot more than you think. We completely understand that the only option when your endurance training and workouts sap the heck out of you is when you chug down gallons of sports drinks or get snacky.

Consequences of Poor Oral Hygiene

This might give your teeth and gums a bad time of their own or you might have a hard time fighting plaque, cavities, gingivitis and other serious oral health issues. There’s no denying that these can cause pain and trouble your body-care regime cannot cover. And if you’re a boxer or take part in activities that “pawn” your jaws, you need to take extra care so that your teeth cannot take a toll on your months or years of hard work. 

An example of bad oral hygiene, bad ugly teeth

According to a study in 2012 involving 302 olympians, the researchers found out that more than half of them suffered from serious tooth decay and around 40% of which was irreversibly deep within the dentine! They also found out that 75% had early stage gingivitis while 15% of them had periodontitis, a condition that slowly causes inflammation of the soft tissue around the teeth.

The obvious impact oral health issues can have on your performance on the tracks or field is definitely pain. Analgesics are not always the way out and companies like Cedar Tree Dental believe that better care is. 

It’s a pity to know that many professional athletes in this day and age take their oral health for granted. As athletes, it’s normal to dedicate a huge portion of time and energy to hone your physical abilities. However, don’t forget that it’s also highly beneficial to stay on top of your oral hygiene game to avoid mouth-related issues from negatively impacting your training and performance. 

A girl is eating a various types of non-health snacks

The lead researcher from the study we mentioned earlier also said that pain doesn’t only affect athletic performance; he believes that oral diseases alongside the decrease in self-confidence and self-esteem can impact an athlete’s performance. This is the reason why if you want to take your performance to the next level, you need to concentrate not just on physical training but also making sure that your mouth gets the love and care that it deserves.

Studies carried out by various other organizations also arrived at the conclusion that not keeping oral infections under check can be hazardous. Simply using analgesics as a habit to get rid of the pain can cause the infection to spread to various parts of the body through blood. The infection can reach vital organs, while signals of pain are blocked out by pain killing medications. The sad reality is that an athlete may never know it even if the infection reaches visceral organs or cerebrospinal fluid to cause meningitis. This should give you another reason to take your oral hygiene seriously.

Maintaining Oral Health

To rule out common oral health issues, you should take good care of your oral hygiene. Practice guidelines can include brushing regimes, wearing custom-made mouth-guards, use of Fluoride toothpaste twice a day, regular oral check-ups at trusted dental clinics like Dentistry on the Q, and most of all staying hydrated by drinking water after an exhausting sweat session. 

A guy is brushing his teeths

If possible cut your sugar intake down to a minimum and take a moment to read the ingredients list and nutritional information of your go-to drinks and snacks. Lowering sugar intake would make your pancreas and liver as happy as your teeth. Also, don’t forget to look for alternatives that would not harm you much while serving the purpose. You may also consult a dietician or practitioner of Sports Medicine before deciding which drinks and supplements suit you the best.