The UCL Eastman Dental Institute Research published an article in the British Dental Journal based on the survey conducted among the Olympic and professional athletes belonging to 11 different sports.
The survey included both the genders from the age of 18 to a limit of all practicing professionals.
The participants were analyzed for the following:
- Tooth decay.
- Healthy gums.
- Any surface changes on the teeth during a dental check-up.
The evaluation also included a note of the practices followed by the athletes to maintain their oral hygiene.
- Frequency of tooth brushing.
- Use of oral hygiene aids.
- Recent dental visit.
- Recent dental service opted.
- The reason for the dental visit opted.
- Previously, obtained dental advice.
The other oral hygiene aids include an electronic toothbrush, floss, Interdental brushes, fluoride mouthwash, and sugar-free chewing gums.
Evaluation of oral health risk factors by checking for the following among the participants:
- Use of tobacco products.
- Diet with the frequency of sugar consumption.
- Sports nutrition products.
The results after the evaluation of more than 300 athletes revealed that 95% had the habit of brushing at least twice daily. While 45% of the total also used any one of the other oral hygiene aids like electronic toothbrush, floss, Interdental brushes, fluoride mouthwash, and sugar-free chewing gums.
A marked compromise in the dietary habits with 97% reported having high levels of sugar consumption daily along with a regular diet.
86% have reported to the use of anyone form of sports nutrition products like energy drinks, bars or energy gels.
Their intervals of visiting a dentist are poor as the recent visit to a dentist seems to be 6 months before the evaluation. 60% mentioned that they were advised by their dentist for the dietary modification in the last visit.
The study concludes with a report of the incidence of oral diseases in elite athletes is equal to more than a normal population even with their good oral hygiene habits.
They rule out the frequent use of sports nutrition products and increased dietary sugar consumption as the risk factors for the increased incidence of oral disease.
It is reported that the attitude of athletes to adopt changes in their dietary habits and additional practices for the betterment of oral health is evident.