Sports Performance: Athletes with Poor Oral Health

We know a couple of elite athletes in our lives, maybe from watching them play or from the media. They are prevalent in the entertainment industry. We understand that these athletes as some of the best in sports, with some having the ideal human body. However, despite this, most athletes aren’t performing at an optimal level. This is partly due to poor oral health.

A recent study has found that many athletes have poor oral health. We’re talking about tooth decay, gum inflammation, and more. This is happening despite most athletes brushing twice a day. It’s a real problem in the world of sports, and it’s affecting their overall performance.

This article will discuss what kind of lifestyle choices can lead to an athlete’s poor oral health and how you can combat it if you’re one of them.


Researchers have found that one main reason why athletes develop poor oral health is because of their training. Training is an essential part of an athlete’s life. Many consider it as their life. A superstar like Lebron James in the NBA trains seven days a week, starting at 5 am. That’s not including his workout, which takes about half his day.

Training is required if an athlete wants to be in their peak performance. However, because of it, some athletes may forget to take care of their teeth. In addition, for some athletes, a visit to the dentist may be waved off more than ten times a year in favor of training sessions. As a result, some athletes may not even visit the dentist for many years.

Training does get to their overall dental health, which can, later on, affect their performance.


woman drinking energy drink

Another fundamental problem that athletes face is their diet. During games, athletes are encouraged to eat a lot of carbohydrates such as energy bars and acidic drinks such as energy drinks. All of these have a detrimental effect on their teeth.

If your teeth are exposed to sugar and acid, it has a chance of eroding the enamel on your teeth. Once the enamel erodes, you have a higher probability of developing tooth decay. So it only makes sense that athletes develop tooth decay because of their diet.

Gold Teeth

Lastly, we all know that many superstar athletes love gold. Unfortunately, they love gold so much that they end up replacing one of their teeth for it. This is bad for an athlete’s overall dental health.

A gold tooth can lead to various oral diseases. It can also lead to gum swelling, infection, and decay. If the athlete gets this procedure without knowing if they are allergic to certain metals, they can experience excruciating pain until the tooth is removed.


Reduce Carbohydrates and Acidic Drinks

The very first thing that you should do, if you’re an athlete and want to avoid poor oral health is to reduce your carbohydrate and acidic drinks intake. Try to limit it as much as you can.

You don’t depend on these things as much as you would think. Take time to break away from such a diet, and consider having a rich fiber diet during off-seasons or when you’re not playing.


One of the main solutions for tooth decay is to simply remove the teeth involved with the disease. However, for many athletes, this can be problematic, especially for those who are at risk of losing their front teeth.

For many superstar athletes, their image is everything, and the thought of losing a front tooth can cause serious distress and anxiety. Some of them hold it off for so long that it starts to affect their gums, leading to gum cancer.

The leading solution for this is to address the problem and get the extracted tooth replaced immediately. It usually takes a month before an extracted tooth can get replaced. During this time, you can opt to use model dentures to hide the space between your teeth.

There are many benefits to doing this. A good tooth-replacement surgery can make you look more attractive, protect your gums from further infection, and stop tooth decay. You’d certainly want all of these things if you’re an athlete.


One way to fully protect your teeth from physical contact is a mouthguard. Many NFL players lose their teeth during their entire careers. A mouthguard can stop this from happening if you’re someone who enjoys contact sports. So protect your teeth, wear a mouthguard.

The life of an athlete can undoubtedly have its fair share of fun. However, once you start to feel the pain of tooth decay and gum infection, you’d wish that you had better oral care. Follow the solutions we’ve listed, and you should be able to avoid most of the bad experiences of bad oral health as an athlete.

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