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How dentists can help athletes

How dentists can help athletes

Johanna Herzog, Secretary General of the German Society of Sports Dentistry, talks about the differences between the USA and Germany.

“Athletes are rarely examined. There is still a lot of educational work to be done – and talking to federations. In America, this is very important. Every big team, especially in ice hockey, has a sports dentist who is on the bench.” .

The American Academy of Sports Dentistry has been in the United States for more than 30 years – and also trains a team of dentists there. Athletes already trust their dentist. The dentist generally has a much higher status in America. “

Dental health for American athletes is extremely important

Hans Stasyuk, current president of the American Academy of Sports Dentistry, or ASD for short, documents how important sports dentistry is in the USA. The ASD website currently states:

“ASD was established to help our athletes and prevent dental trauma. Prevention includes education and developing good habits such as wearing protective devices. All this within the sporting rules and with respectful cooperation.”

Whether it is recreational sports or professional sports of all types, the dental health of athletes plays a very important role.

Reorganization of specialized areas

Although this has long been known in the USA, German sports dentistry is still lagging behind in this field, says Guido Pawlik, a dentist at the Academy of Sports Dentistry in Berlin.

It is a reorganization of subject areas. Classical dentistry is clearly divided into dentistry, orthopedics and respiratory medicine. This can no longer be maintained with modern knowledge. Modern sports dentistry is more concerned with synergistic effects, where we utilize performance-enhancing body processes – such as bite strengthening and optimal breathing.

Guido Bolick, Dentist at the Academy of Sports Dentistry in Berlin

Barbara Plaster, dentist and Vice-President of the German Dental Association, sees the main tasks and opportunities for sports dentistry in this country in the preventive and prophylactic field.

“It's very important how the jaw joints work, what the bite looks like, whether they have completely incorrect alignment — or whether they bite incorrectly. Imagine a runner, when milliseconds matter, these little things play a very important role.”

Mouth protection is the most important preventive measure

The dentist cites mouth protection as the most urgent preventive measure.

“Among dental accidents in the mouth, jaw and facial area, up to 39 percent are actually sports accidents. This is not a small number. 80 percent of these sports accidents affect the front teeth.”

In this regard, Johanna Herzog, Secretary General of the German Society of Sports Dentistry, says that the relationship between Germany and the United States of America suddenly changed.

Because: “From a purely scientific point of view, it is clear that the United States is behind us. And when it comes to this railway issue, we are miles ahead of the United States. They are actually following our path.”

Sports dentistry is missing as an important part of training

Despite this special advantage, there is still a great need for education here, says Barbara Plaster, vice president of the German Dental Association in Berlin.

In general, the topic of sports dentistry is still not sufficiently presented in the training of German dentists.

“For us, there is a little bit of training – especially in sports. We are really good and communicating in all areas. But especially in the area of ​​trauma or prophylaxis, there is still a lack of actually – because it is not really intense.” It is part of the training “.

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