Recent studies show that many athletes have a higher rate of dental problems.
When you think about problems faced by athletes, you may think about muscle tears, bone sprains, or even concussions. You may even think about teeth getting knocked out. What you don't think about is the fact that many athletes have terrible oral health overall. But it is the truth, in fact a recent study just announced that nearly 40% of football players in the UK have teeth that are rotting or on their way to rotting. The ironic part is that this one place on their body that they aren't taking care of can actually have a huge impact on their athletic performance.
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It is a horrible stereotype of the UK that people don't have the best teeth, but the problem is scientifically proven for athletes in all sports, not just football. However, the report does stress that football had the worst teeth.
In fact, according to the study’s head author, Ian Needleman of the UCL Eastman Dental Institute, some of the athletes had such bad teeth that they couldn't reverse the damage and that jaw infections were common.
It is unclear why these athletes aren't seeking dental care, surely it isn't because they aren't paid enough. However, the team theorizes that it may have to do with the fact that the players travel quite a bit and have a hectic schedule. That, combined with family life, means that everything else takes precedence over healthy teeth.
Or they just don't like going to the dentist.
The study was published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, also found that 37% of footballers had tooth decay at any point in time, and 50% had teeth that were being eroded by acids in their mouths. 80% of player, far more than the average citizen, suffered from gum disease. Many also had undiagnosed cavities and 25% had sensitivity.
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