Athletes competing at London 2012 Games had 'striking levels' of bad teeth: Study

London, Sept 29 : A study has reportedly found that athletes competing at the 2012 Olympic Games at London had 'striking levels' of bad teeth, with a fifth of the surveyed athletes saying that their poor oral health had damaged their training and performance.

The study, by University College London and published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, suggested cavities, tooth erosion and gum disease were common, with researchers revealing that athletes, as a group, had worse dental health than other people of a similar age.

According to the BBC, lead researcher Ian Needleman said that the athletes' teeth were damaged due to eating large amounts of carbohydrates regularly, including sugary energy drinks, adding that the stress on the immune system from intense training may leave athletes at risk of oral disease.

Needleman also said that a fixation on training, preparation and other aspects of health might leave little time or awareness of oral health, with the study finding that out of the 302 athletes examined from 25 sports, 55 percent had evidence of cavities, 45 percent had tooth erosion and an overall 76 percent had gum disease.

The researchers further said that inflammation elsewhere in the body might also affect recovery time and susceptibility to injury, adding that tooth pain and the resulting impact on diet and sleep may also damage performance.

--ANI (Posted on 29-09-2013)

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