Impact of sports dental injuries

The Impact of
Dental Injuries

Sports and Exercise

Engaging in sports and exercise can impact oral health in various ways, and there are several oral diseases and conditions that may be related to physical activity. Here are some of the oral health concerns that can be associated with sports and exercise


Strenuous physical activity can lead to dehydration, and a dry mouth can increase the risk of dental issues. Saliva plays a crucial role in protecting teeth from decay, so reduced saliva production can lead to an increased risk of cavities and gum disease.


The consumption of sports drinks, energy gels, and bars can introduce excess sugars and acids into the oral cavity, increasing the risk of tooth decay. Proper oral hygiene, including brushing and flossing, is essential to combat this.

Mouth Breathing

During intense exercise, individuals may breathe through their mouths, leading to dry mouth. Chronic mouth breathing can contribute to oral health issues, including bad breath and gum problems.

Oral Trauma

Contact sports or activities can result in facial and oral trauma, such as chipped or knocked-out teeth, lip and cheek injuries, and jaw fractures.

Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Issues

Repetitive impact or clenching during physical activities can contribute to TMJ disorders, causing jaw pain and dysfunction.

Oral Infections

Sharing water bottles or engaging in close contact sports can increase the risk of oral infections, such as herpes simplex virus (cold sores) or bacterial infections.

Oral Injuries from Equipment

Ill-fitting or damaged sports equipment, like mouthguards or braces, can cause oral injuries or worsen pre-existing conditions.

Oral Cancer

Some studies suggest that individuals who engage in certain sports, such as smokeless tobacco use among baseball players or sun exposure among outdoor athletes, may be at increased risk of oral cancer.

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To address these oral health concerns related to sports and exercise, athletes can take several preventive measures

Stay hydrated by drinking water rather than sugary sports drinks.

Practice good oral hygiene, including brushing and flossing regularly.

Use custom-fitted mouthguards to protect teeth during contact sports.

Pay attention to any oral or facial injuries and seek prompt treatment.

Avoid tobacco and excessive sun exposure, as these are risk factors for oral cancer.

Maintain regular dental check-ups to monitor and address any emerging oral health issues.

Overall, being aware of the potential oral health risks associated with sports and exercise and taking steps to mitigate them is essential for athletes and active individuals.