The Effects of Sport Training on Athletes’ Oral Health

About 85% of athletes have sub-optimal oral health in a wide variety of sport events, whether during preparation or during tournaments. In a study of preadolescent and adolescent athletes who participated in various sports, a prevalence between 15% and 70% was found for the occurrence of oral diseases, such as caries with an incidence between 15% and 70%, dental trauma 14-70%, dental erosion 36%, pericoronitis 5-39%, and periodontal disease between 15% and 70%. Salivary pH, flow rate, buffering capacity, total bacterial count, cariogenic bacterial load, and values of secretory Immunoglobulin A are important variables for the many diseases of the oral cavity. With S-IgA development decreasing and the finding of pathogenic bacteria associated with an important intraoral growth, we are led to believe that our preparation is a “jar opening” for the exposure to oral cavity diseases. Sports dentistry places an emphasis on oral pathology and injury prevention and recovery. The delivery of oral health promotion messages in the sports setting is essential. Oral disorders may be prevented by recommending the usage of a custom-made mouthguard, which is an oral aid with a triple feature. With this new method, sports dentists must pay close attention to their athletes as well as the usage of the sports assessment process, which includes an in-depth clinical examination, quantitative and qualitative study of saliva, and the implementation of guidelines for mouthguard use, storage, and maintenance.

The growing diffusion of sports practices is the emphasis on disease symptoms and health advantages that are associated with athletic success. Since the modifications of the oral cavity affect the fitness, well-being, and athletic ability of the participant, the athlete may be more aware of the dangers involved with carrying out sports activities. Caries, erosions, dental discolorations, and periodontal disease are the major diseases found in the oral cavity that have a direct effect on the quality of life of athletes. Additionally, the physical activity involved in sports competitions and training lowers the amount of saliva and S-IgA in the saliva, resulting in a reduction in the host organism’s defense and increasing susceptibility to particular pathologies, such as URTIs and oral pathologies. Consequently, when athletes are involved in sports activities, their dental health must be monitored by sport dentists who are familiar with all dental issues related to the oral cavity as well as the new examination protocols that provide clinical evaluations, quantification, and qualitative analyses of saliva. However, it is mandatory for all athletes to wear mouthguard during sports activities. The key aim of this study is to explain oral disease conditions and improvements in the oral environment of athletes who undergo rigorous training without and with mouthguard. The protocol of prophylaxis and/or therapy that will be implemented is designed to define a medical and oral care regimen for the illnesses and oral changes identified.

The oral atmosphere is impacted by diet, personal health, dietary patterns, and the use of medications. Narcotics and sports activity both impact on the oral environment. A wealth of literature on the oral ecosystem has been compiled thanks to the efforts of sports dentists, who have done various studies on such factors as salivary pH and flow, microbial load, and S-IgA levels. To begin with, the dietary habits, frequency, and amount of training sessions, as well as various environmental factors, such as weather and stress, may cause notable differences in the oral ecosystem.

Citation: Kaufman, E.; Lamster, I.B. The diagnostic applications of saliva—A review. Crit. Rev. Oral Biol. Med. 200213, 197–212. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]

Categories: Dental