Oral health is an integral part of systemic health and is necessary for good physical performance.
This study aimed to evaluate and compare the knowledge, attitudes, and habits of male athletes, members of the Brazilian Football and Basketball Confederations, about the interrelationship between oral health and sport.
A semi-structured questionnaire was developed, consisting of sixteen objective questions and one essay question, which were answered by 42 soccer athletes and 40 basketball athletes. The athletes were questioned on their knowledge about the use of mouthguards during sports practice, interferences of oral changes in sports performance, use of drugs for dental purposes and doping. They were also asked about the history of trauma during sports practice, use of mouthguards, supplements, isotonic or energy drinks intake, temporomandibular joint changes and participation in oral health program in the home club.
The results showed that the athletes interviewed do not have adequate knowledge about the influence of oral health on sports practice, although they agree that dental professionals contribute to the maintenance of oral health and the consequent improvement in sports performance. It was also observed that basketball athletes reported a higher percentage of trauma compared to soccer athletes. Most athletes of both modalities reported the use of sports drinks, but do not make use of dietary supplements and not being a mouth-breather.
There is a need to disseminate the importance of oral health in sports to maintain systemic health and to improve sports practice.
athletes; dentistry; sports; oral health.