Taking care of your teeth has many advantages. Not only does it produce a prettier smile and more comfortable chewing, but you can avoid the need for extensive dental work and even protect your heart health by staying on top of your dental health. A recent study, however, took the benefits of a healthy smile to another level.
Research published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine states that good teeth can improve athletic performance among elite athletes. In this study, researchers examined the oral health of nearly 300 athletes in 25 sports at the 2012 Olympics in London. They evaluated the participants for dental caries, gingivitis, dental erosion, and gum disease and other conditions. They also kept track of their recent dental visits and asked the athletes if their oral health interfered with their quality of life or athletic training and performance. In conclusion, this study found that poor oral health and fewer dental visits directly coincided with a disruption and interference in preparing for athletic competition.
There are many reasons that your dental health can disrupt your quality of life and daily performance, regardless of whether or not you are an athlete. Those that suffer from tooth pain generally get poor quality sleep, which can slow your reaction time. Tooth pain or discomfort can also interfere with focus during training and competition. In addition, oral health conditions such as gum disease can be an indication of chronic inflammation in the body, which can mean reduced performance for an elite athlete.
While most of us are not Olympic athletes, we can still reap the benefits of a healthy smile. Your professional career, relationships and even your weekend sports can be improved if your teeth are problem-free. At Red Oak Family Dentistry, we do everything we can to educate patients on the countless, and profound, benefits of healthy teeth and gums.