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Chad M. Boustany D.D.S., M.S.

Why Do Athletes Tend to Get Gum Disease So Often?

Posted on 9/7/2020 by Dr. Boustany
Why Do Athletes Tend to Get Gum Disease So Often?Studies have revealed that athletes get gum disease more often than other people. While you might think an athlete is eating the right foods and is in good physical shape, he or she still has a tendency to develop cavities and gum disease. The information below elaborates on why researchers believe this happens.

What the Findings Reveal

According to one study published in the British Dental Journal, athletes across a broad spectrum of sports regularly brush their teeth (at least twice a day), floss, and have their teeth professionally cleaned and checked. However, their oral and periodontal health still reveals another story. Researchers interviewed professional and Olympic athletes across 11 sports, some of which included football, rowing, swimming, sailing, and cycling. The scientists asked the participants to record what they did to keep their gums and teeth healthy. Despite practicing good oral hygiene, athletes in the study showed prevailing oral health problems, with many of the respondents experiencing the early stages of gum disease. About 33% of the respondents said their periodontal health negatively impacted their athletic performance.

What Was the Reason for Gum Disease?

While the athletes did indeed follow a conscientious routine of at-home dental care and professional cleanings and exams, the use of sports drinks, protein bars, and energy gels was excessive. These products were often consumed during training and athletic events. In turn, the products caused tooth decay and acid erosion. Researchers believe the use of these products as being the primary contributors to poorer checkups and the development of periodontal disease. Many of the athletes agreed to reduce their consumption of sports drinks and undergo fluoride treatments to improve their periodontal health.

Do you consume protein bars, sports drinks, or energy gels? If so, read the labels. Not everything is good for you, even though you may associate it with a healthy activity. If you have problems with gum swelling, soreness, or bleeding, contact our periodontal team for an appointment and consultation. Learn more about how you can improve your periodontal health so you can enhance the other areas of your life as well.

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