08:11pm Friday 03 April 2020

A good oral health reduces the risk of suffering muscle injuries

Dr Cosme Gay Escoda and the research group he leads.

Dr Cosme Gay Escoda and the research group he leads.

The study has been supported by the FC Barcelona medical services. (Photograph: Miguel Ruiz - FCB)

The study has been supported by the FC Barcelona medical services. (Photograph: Miguel Ruiz – FCB)



This is the main conclusion of the study developed by Dr Cosme Gay Escoda, professor at the Department of Dentistry and Stomatology of the Faculty of  Dentistry of the UB and researcher of the Bellvitge Institute for Biomedical Research (IDIBELL), and supported by the FC Barcelona medical services. This work, published in 2011 in the journal Medicina Oral, Patología Oral y Cirugía Bucal, has been the scientific article about sports medicine most consulted on BioMedLib Journal, according to the ranking developed by this publication.

During three seasons, from 2003 to 2006, the scientific team studied dental trauma, oral hygiene, gingival index and dental occlusion index of the thirty professional players belonging to the FC Barcelona soccer team. Later, they contrast these data with the information provided by the FC Barcelona medical services about the injuries suffered by the players. Conclusions show that oral health is related to the incidence of sport lesions. In other words, professional players who show a worse oral health are more likely to suffer an injury. Oral infections have several origins, such as caries, gingivitis (gingiva infections) or dental plaque.

The study shows the importance of having a good oral health as a way to prevent muscular injuries caused by intrinsic factors (in other words, those caused by contusion and contact between players). Mouth infections secrete chemical mediators that, through blood stream, can damage muscles and weaken them, this leads to an increase in the risk of suffering lesions. In the study, also participated Eduard Valmaseda-Castellón (Department of Dentistry and Stomatology of the UB and IDIBELL), Jordi Ardèvol, medical director of FC Barcelona on that time, and Ricard Pruna and Javier Fernández, MD and physiotherapist, respectively, of the FC Barcelona first team.


Lesions of professional sport players

It is estimated that professional soccer players are injured between 1.5 and 7 times every 1,000 hours of training and between 12 and 35 times every 1,000 match hours. Muscular injuries, as well as tendonitis, ligament injuries or lacerations, are quite frequent in sport training. That is why, it is necessary to establish preventive mesures to reduce lesions as much as possible. Among these measures “there is an oral health periodical revision to players in order to ensure an excellent physical condition of high-level sport players”, concluded Dr Gay Escoda.

Universitat de Barcelona

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