Olympians Get No Medals for Oral Hygiene
October 2, 2013
By Nancy Volkers
InteliHealth News Service
INTELIHEALTH - Olympic athletes might be fast and strong, but they need to brush their teeth more often.
So says a study from University College London. Researchers examined 278 Olympic athletes during the 2012 Games in London. Most were from North America, South America, Africa and Europe.
The exams found that:
55% of the athletes had tooth decay
45% had significant tooth wear (erosion)
76% had early gum disease (gingivitis)
- 15% had more serious gum disease
- About half had not had a check-up or tooth cleaning within the last year
The researchers noted that oral health has an impact on overall health and well-being. So poor oral health could affect athletic performance. They urged health promotion and disease prevention strategies to keep athletes in the best of health.
The study appears in the September 24 issue of the British Journal of Sports Medicine.