Experts discuss importance of oral health in sport
November 02 2019 10:15 PM
Participants listen to an expert at the symposium.
Participants listen to an expert at the symposium.

The second symposium on the role of oral health in sports was conducted recently at Aspetar, the Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Hospital.

More than 200 participants, including dentists and allied health professionals from within and outside Qatar attended the event.

A number of topics were discussed related to sports and the appropriate approach needed when dealing with various types of oral injuries. Recent and cutting-edge techniques offered an insight into new ways of managing oral injuries.

One of the topics was about Qatar’s National Oral Health Plan which stressed the importance of awareness on how oral health can affect an athlete’s performance, a press statement noted. Also in focus was the use of laser in dentistry for the treatment of oral care and dental injuries as well as the latest techniques being used.

Further, the importance of mouth guards, athlete screening and nutrition was highlighted.

The director of Sports Dentistry at Aspetar, Dr Mohamed Alsaey, said: “Our role is not limited to providing treatment to athletes, but we are also committed to educating athletes and the medical staff at Aspetar. Staff members located in clubs and federations are duly educated so that they are able to identify and treat various oral injuries resulting from trauma. Sports dentistry has raised awareness of the dangers and various types of oral trauma and, in so doing, has become an integral part of medical disciplines in sports in the world.”

He noted that various studies have shown a direct relationship between oral health and the overall health of athletes and how oral problems can affect the performance of athletes. “Many examples have been observed here in Aspetar with regard to how bacteria from tooth abscesses or gum infection can travel through the blood during circulation, which can cause a lack of oxygen reaching the muscles. Thus, a lower oxygen content increases the risk of injuries such as muscle fatigue, strains, convulsions or even muscle tearing.”

Many injuries to athletes are caused by oral infections in the mouth, teeth or even the jaw and it is not possible to comprehend all except through the athlete completing a full medical screening. All athletes in Qatar undergo a periodical medical screening.

Dr Alsaey said that the “results of the periodical test conducted at Aspetar show that many injuries suffered by athletes are due to oral health problems, so we made this our focus during the symposium".

With these examinations, a lot of problems are detected in the early stages, thereby reducing downtime and increasing confidence that an athlete will participate with all his/her abilities during a competition, he added.

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