Sports dentistry: buccal and salivary profile of a female soccer team

Quintessence Int. 2004 Sep;35(8):649-52.


Sports dentistry has been considered a prominent area of dentistry because dental health can limit the abilities of athletes, both professional and nonprofessional, in their training and competition. Dental decay is associated with the frequent use of carbohydrates, recommended as an energy source for exercise. Strong indications exist regarding the possibility to use saliva as a performance determinant and for evaluation and prescription of physical activity. This study evaluated the salivary profiles (pH, flow rate, mutans streptococci and Lactobacillus counts) and decayed, missing, and filled teeth of 18 female soccer players (13 to 19 years old) of the Olympic Training and Research Center of São Paulo, before and after a training session. The salivary flow rate presented a significant reduction after training; however, there was no significant alteration in pH. Fifty percent of the players presented 10(5) to 10(6) mutans streptococci, and 66% presented 10(3) Lactobacillus. Several salivary components protect against microorganisms that cause superior respiratory tract infections (common in athletes), as well as participating in the remineralization mechanism during cariogenic challenges. Thus, due to the salivary flow rate reduction in this population with a high number of cariogenic microorganisms, noncariogenic drink ingestion at regular intervals and maintenance of hydration levels during training, are suggested.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • DMF Index
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / therapeutic use
  • Drinking
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Lactobacillus / isolation & purification
  • Physical Exertion / physiology
  • Saliva / chemistry
  • Saliva / metabolism*
  • Saliva / microbiology*
  • Secretory Rate
  • Soccer / physiology*
  • Streptococcus mutans / isolation & purification


  • Dietary Carbohydrates