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Medicina dello Sport 2013 March;66(1):71-80


language: English, Italian

Analysis of oral health status and of salivary factors in young soccer players: a pilot study

D’Ercole S. 1, 2, Ristoldo F. 3, Quaranta F. 4, Amaddeo P. 5, Tripodi D. 2

1 Department of Experimental and Clinical Science, “G. D’Annunzio” University, Chieti-Pescara, Italy; 2 Department of Medical, Oral, Biotechnological Sciences, “G. D’Annunzio” University, Chieti-Pescara, Italy; 3 Unit of Odontostomatology, Ospedali Riuniti di Bergamo, Bergamo, Italy; 4 Department of Health Sciences, Foro Italico University, Rome, Italy; 5 Team Sanitario Atalanta Bergamasca Calcio


Aim: The aim of this study was to evaluate the status of oral health of young players and to determine how the practice of physical exercise can influence the key factors that characterize the oral ecosystem.
Methods: Sixteen Atalanta players, mean age 13 years, and 40 sedentary individuals (control), mean age 12.5 years, were selected. A self-administered questionnaire was used to obtain data concerning a pathological complete history, a history of oral hard and soft tissues, a family history, oral hygiene practices and snacking habits. Before training sessions (T1), a clinical monitoring was performed and at each patient the following parameters were recorded: DMFT, Plaque Index (PlI), Gingival Index (GI). At T1 and after training sessions (T2), stimulated saliva was collected and subjected to microbiological analysis for the detection of lactobacilli, S. mutans and total bacterial count, and immunological analysis for the research of S-IgA.
Results: The players demonstrated a greater PlI (0.85; 0.08 ctr), an increase of dental stains (42.85%; ctr 2%), increased frequency of atypical swallowing (71.42%; ctr 17%) and nail biting (57.14%; ctr 0%) and low frequency of daily brushing (3/die: 0%; ctr 33%) compared with controls. The young players had a statistically higher microbial load than controls, both at T1 and T2. At T1, 31.25% of the players presented S. mutans >106 and the percentage rises to 68.75% at T2.
With regard to Lactobacillus spp only 12.5% of athletes had the count >106 and the percentage rises to 31.25% at T2. The training period decreased significantly the concentration of SIgA.
Discussion and conclusions: The young players run an increased risk in the development of oral diseases compared to sedentary individuals caused either by a lack of attention to the oral health that from the effects of both immunological and microbiological changes that occur in training time.

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