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الجامعة الأسلامية

الجامعة الاسلامية

The relationship of Dental and Gum Diseases to Sports Injuries

To all the teachers, coaches, players, administrators, and students of the faculties of physical education, I am pleased to address in this article an important and vital topic for sports achievement.

The relationship of Dental and Gum Diseases to Sports Injuries

Dr. Jabbar Rahima Al-Kaabi

March 31, 2015

There are many coaches, athletes, or administrators who do not care or do not believe that there is a relationship between toothache or dental and gum diseases and between sports injuries and other diseases that occur in athletes. However, recent studies have shown that there is an interrelationship between dental and gum diseases with sports injuries and other diseases that occur in athlete. According to these studies, tooth and gum infections not only have a negative impact on the soft and hard tissues close to the infected areas of the teeth, but they also expose athletes to diseases that affect their bodies in other parts of the body, such as the circulatory, respiratory, muscular, and nervous systems, which can have an adverse effect on their athletic performance and even result in injuries. In this article, I will discuss how dental pain or dental disease affects the functional apparatus of the athlete, thus affecting the level of technical performance and leading to injuries.

The effect of dental and gum diseases on the circulatory system of the athlete:

An athlete may think that dental and gum diseases do not matter to his athletic performance, but studies have proven the opposite, as the flow of bacteria from infected teeth and gums into the blood and blood vessels helps platelets stick to each other inside the blood vessels. It causes a change in the shape of the inner lining of the blood vessels, and these changes narrow the width of the inner cavity of the blood vessels, which reduces the flow of blood that carries oxygen and food to functional organs, such as the muscular system. It also makes the muscle not take in enough of the first as a prisoner and food, causing muscle atrophy. Thus, the muscle’s effectiveness decreases and becomes much less than the healthy muscle’s effectiveness, as it fatigues quickly compared to the muscles of any other athlete who does not complain of dental and gum diseases. Therefore, the athlete may be exposed to injuries such as muscle strain or muscle tear. The flow of bacteria into the blood changes the viscosity of the blood and negatively affects blood flow in the blood vessels. They usually end with a partial or total and sudden blockage of some blood vessels, such as the vessels of the heart and brain, and may lead to a blood clot, which endangers the life of the athlete.

The Impact of Dental and Gum Diseases on Healing of Sports Injuries:

An athlete’s recovery period is impacted by the bacteria that enter the blood and blood vessels as a result of tooth and gum disease. Athletes who sustain injuries to certain body parts, like the knee joint, experience slower recovery times than athletes who do not report having these illnesses. They also run the risk of developing more difficulties because these germs are present in their blood. Here, we can claim that dental and gum diseases are significant risk factors for preventing healing and spreading several serious illnesses throughout the body.

The Effect of Dental Diseases on the Respiratory System

It is well known that the body of the athlete experiences issues due to bacterial transmission through the blood and digestive tract, as well as the transmission of bacteria through breathing from the mouth to the lung, which affects the respiratory system. Gum disease raises the likelihood of respiratory infection, which is a risk factor for respiratory diseases.

Additionally, dental and gum diseases have an impact on the circulatory system, which in turn has an impact on how well the respiratory system performs by transporting oxygen from the lungs to the blood and affecting the respiratory rate. This is because blood vessel lining changes and their narrowing have an impact on how well the respiratory system performs.

The average athlete breaths 13 times per minute at rest, and increases that number by four during physical activity. As for the athlete with persistent gum and dental issues, we will discover that he breathes more quickly than a healthy athlete both at rest and during the physical effort to make up for the lower amount of oxygen delivered to the muscles. This occurs because blood platelet adhesion caused blood vessels to constrict, which in turn caused arteries to constrict and lessen the amount of blood and oxygen reaching the muscles. The athlete, who complains of tooth and gum disorders, is adversely affected by this increase in breathing rate. Compared to a healthy athlete, it results in more effort being put forth.

The Effect of Dental and Gum Diseases on the Head and Eyes:

Infections caused by gum and tooth disorders (the results of bacterial toxins) put pressure on the nerves in the jaws, resulting in a strong headache, decreasing the athlete’s focus and detracting from his ability to think clearly, which in turn affects how well they perform.

Dental diseases also affect the eye. We are discussing a delicate and vital area of the body that is present in athletes. Due to the presence of abscesses (toxins from bacteria) in injured teeth, the eye is extremely sensitive to even the slightest change. This may affect the condition of the eye and weaken its ability to see properly, which the player needs to assess during the performance and take the appropriate decision. Additionally, eye pain causes the player to lose attention and become mentally distracted. and consequently has an impact on his technical, psychological, and physical performance. Studies in ophthalmology have demonstrated that some eye conditions are brought on by oral conditions. The afflicted teeth in this case need to be addressed, and this treatment cannot be postponed or ignored. The surgical removal of impacted teeth is frequently the answer to ignoring the damaged teeth. However, if this remedy is applied too late, the eye may become weaker, and the athlete may develop a chronic issue that will have an impact on their future.

Helping Factors to Get Rid of and Prevent Dental Problems

As we became familiar with the effects of dental problems on the body of an athlete, we had to learn how we can avoid dental disease and infection.

– Brushing teeth after every meal to avoid plaque buildup (the thin layer of bacteria that forms on the teeth after eating). It is the primary cause of tooth decay and gum disease. Keeping your teeth clean is crucial, and you should brush with fluoride toothpaste and floss at least once a day and visit your dentist at least twice a year to prevent sports injuries and other diseases. It is also important to brush with fluoride toothpaste twice a day.

– As with cranberries, berries prevent tooth decay. Scientists confirm that berries contain antioxidants. In addition, it is capable of attacking bacteria that cause tooth decay.

– Fruits rich in vitamin C, such as oranges, lemons, apples, and other fruits, contain vitamin C, which is necessary to maintain healthy teeth, gums, and bones and helps absorb iron. It can be taken in the form of pills.

– Strawberries are quite effective at cleaning teeth and keeping bacteria from adhering to the tooth’s enamel.

– We all understand the significance of milk since it includes calcium, which is essential for healthy teeth because it strengthens them, fights tooth decay, and stops bacteria from entering the body through our mouths.

– Miswak is immune to pathogens. It may have an anti-inflammatory effect on the mouth and analgesic properties for toothaches. The gums are made stronger by the gum-holding ingredient in miswak. Along with other phlegm-repelling ingredients, it also contains a chemical that protects teeth from rotting. The Holy Messenger (PBUH) recommended it as a means of preventing and treating dental and gum diseases.

Consequently, athletes must emphasize protecting their mouths and teeth, since they are very important for their futures, and their diseases are not limited to them alone but affect all body systems as well. Therefore, it is essential to visit dental specialists at regular intervals to prevent dental problems that could affect his athletic career.

Regards and best wishes for your health and safety.

Dr. Jabbar Rahima Al-Kaabi

Technical Expert

Qatar Olympic Committee

Qatar Athletics Federation in 2015