Background:The word “sport” is derived from a combination of words meaning “to carry away from work”. In current usage, sport has come to encompass a wide range of human activities,
skills, and accomplishments that are not part of routine life. Oral health is an integral part of general health and well-being and a basic human right.Possible sport-related causes of poor oral
health include frequent dietary intake of carbohydrates,physiological changes such as decreased salivary flow and drying of the mouth during exercise and exercise-induced immune suppression.Demanding
training regimes might make it difficult to access preventive care. No studies have evaluated the awareness of athletes on oral health and its status in India. Hence, the aim of the study is to
evaluate how far the Indian athletes are aware on importance of oral health on their performance during sports.
Methods:This epidemiological study assessed the level of awareness of athletes on oral health on sports performance in Warangal, India. The department of physical education NIT
Warangal provided the list of athletes enrolled at the stadium. Among 350 athletes, 294 participated in the study. We enrolled athletes who were training for participation on competitions and
information regarding the study was given verbally and consent was taken. The participants were 18 to 21 years of age and resided in both residential and non-residential sports complexes.
The study was conducted for a period of approximately 2 months from January 2016 to February 2016 at the department of physical education, NIT Warangal. A questionnaire was given to the participants
that include the demographic data, their awareness on importance of oral health, dental trauma and its emergency management.
Results:In total 294 athletes (Age 18-21) were included in the study. There were 184 (62.8%) males and 109 (37.2 %) females. Out of which 66.6% visited dentist frequently but only
33.4% visited dentist when problem arises.
Awareness of importance of dental visits was shown by 80.9% of the study sample and 20.1 % felt that it is not important. 28.7% of the sample visited dentist in last 12 months rest 71.3% does not.
Oral health altering the training period in 54.6% and 45.4% disagreed it. When asked about the type of dental problems which alter their training reveals caries (2.4%), gum problems (8.9%),
sensitivity (31.1%), eruption of wisdom teeth (7.8%).
Awareness of Importance of tooth brushing in avoiding cavities by 40.3 %, for healthy gums by 35.8%, for avoiding tooth staining by 15% and for improving sport performance by 8.8% of the study sample.
13% of the study samples have oral injuries and 87% does not have any oral injuries during training period for which 22.5% will take precautions and 77.5 will not.
CONCLUSION:The extensive consequences of injury couldbe prevented with such simple knowledge and action. Further more, efforts should be made to train general medical practitioners and other emergency
room staff to perform appropriate first aid procedures for dental trauma. This would result in an improved outcome for many thousands of sports participants worldwide who injure their teeth during