According to a recent study on the dental health of footballers, the players in the professional leagues have worse teeth than the general public. Researchers at University College London had the results of their study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine after they revealed that four out of ten professional footballers have some level of decay; while one in twenty have extreme gum disease.
As well as decay and gum disease, players could see their performance hindered by regular toothache and those leading the study said that something had to be done ‘urgently’ to promote better dental hygiene among players. Experts can’t pinpoint what exactly is causing the poor levels of dental health among football players but it has been suggested that sports drinks might be to blame.
187 footballers from eight clubs – Hull, Manchester Utd, Southampton, Swansea City, West Ham, Brighton and Hove Albion, Cardiff, and Sheffield Utd – had their teeth and gums checked and were questioned about the impact their dental health has on their personal lives and their performance on the pitch. 64% of those asked said that they drank sports drinks at least three times a week, with almost three quarters of respondents saying they had been to the dentist in the past twelve months for treatment. A shocking 77% of those asked needed fillings and 84% had at least one decayed or filled tooth.