Objectives: The objective of this study was to evaluate the oral health status of professional soccer players of F.C. Barcelona and its relation to the incidence of sport lesions.
Methods: Thirty professional soccer players were consecutively evaluated in the seasons 2003/4, 2004/5 and 2005/6. A research protocol to assess their oral health was developed. DMFT, Quigley & Hein plaque index (PI), Löe & Silness gingival index (GI), World Health Organization malocclusion index, Ramfjord teeth probing pocket depth (PPD), TMJ examination and history of dental trauma were recorded. All physical injuries sustained by players during the season were documented from F.C. Barcelona medical services.
Results: Mean DMFT score was 5.7 (SD 4.1), Quigley & Hein plaque index score was 2.3 (SD 1.1), Löe & Silness gingival index was 1.1 (SD 0.8), and periodontal pocket depth was 1.9 mm (SD 0.3). Pearson's analysis showed a significant correlation between PI and GI (p<0.01). Nine players (30%) presented bruxism--the same proportion of those with severe malocclusion. Seven (23.3%) players had suffered uncomplicated crown fractures. The mean incidence of physical injuries was 8 (SD 3.4) per player. PI and PPD showed a statistically significant correlation to muscle injuries (p<0.05).
Conclusions: Soccer players, despite intensive medical follow-up, have significant oral health problems such as untreated caries, gingivitis or malocclusion, and suffer dental trauma as a result of sports activities. Their physical condition could also be associated to oral health.