Throughout the games, the Procter & Gamble Company has sponsored dentists to help athletes achieve top oral health in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. Athletes will receive oral care products and educational materials at the dental clinics situated in each of the Olympic Winter Games facilities, where dentists will also offer routine dental care, dental screenings and emergency services.
No one wants a repeat of the 2012 Olympics, when poor dental health was shown to hinder athletic’ performances.
You might presume that for these world-class athletes to remain in top shape, they must have equally “fit,” or healthy, mouths. Yet, dental reports from the London Games indicated that more than half of athletes had shockingly poor oral health – worse than that of the average person their same age. Nearly 55 percent of athletes had signs of cavities, with most having irreversible decay – talk about flexing your bad breath! Even more troubling, 3 out of 4 athletes suffered from gingivitis, or early stage gum disease. The biggest kicker? Many found it worsened their training and performance, whether on the track, the field or in the gymnasium.
“It happened in the past that a dental emergency or poor oral health has seriously influenced the performance of an athlete at one of their most important events,” Dr. Paul Piccininni, a coordinator of dental services for the International Olympic Committee at both the Summer and Winter Olympic Games, noted in a Procter & Gamble Company press release.