London 2012 athletes ‘had bad teeth’, in some cases affecting performance

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Read BBC and see the study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine,

The beaming smiles of gold-medal winners Usain Bolt, Jessica Ennis-Hill and Mo Farah are some of the defining memories of London 2012.

But a team at University College London says many competitors had dental problems.

“Our data and other studies suggest that, for a similar age profile, the oral health of athletes is poor. It’s quite striking,” said lead researcher Prof Ian Needleman.

He said eating large amounts of carbohydrates regularly, including sugary energy drinks, was damaging teeth. [… ]

Of the 302 athletes examined, from 25 sports, 55% had evidence of cavities, 45% had tooth erosion and 76% had gum disease.

One in three said their oral health affected their quality of life and one in five said it affected training or athletic performance.

dentist

Image courtesy of Senior Airman Brett Clashman, U.S. Air Force / Wikimedia Commons

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