Dentists say footballers with bad teeth play badly: Manchester United’s toothless Nobby Styles wins World Cup
News in the Sun that “top footballers” are troubled by their bad teeth. We learn that 40% of footballers have some tooth decay and 5% have gum disease. And 7% say tooth issues affect their game.
The Daily Mail makes a link between teeth and playing power:
The research, by University College London, surveyed 187 “aces” at eight clubs. A dentist titled Professor Ian Needleman arrives to say that sugary drinks can harm teeth. And being in pain can impact on your performance. Who knew?
The full survey can be read here. We are told:
Background The few studies that have assessed oral health in professional/elite football suggest poor oral health with minimal data on impact on performance. The aim of this research was to determine oral health in a representative sample of professional footballers in the UK and investigate possible determinants of oral health and self-reported impact on well-being, training and performance.
Methods Clinical oral health examination of senior squad players using standard methods and outcomes carried out at club training facilities. Questionnaire data were also collected. 8 teams were included, 5 Premier League, 2 Championship and 1 League One.
The clubs surveyed were: Hull FC, Manchester United FC, Southampton FC, Swansea City AFC, West Ham FC, Brighton & Hove Albion, Cardiff FC and Sheffield United FC.
One other aim of the research might be to create work for dentists at football clubs. After all, Professor Ian Needleman, also says:
“…while these findings are worrying we are pleased that clubs are already embracing the findings and building on their existing interventions by placing oral health care at the forefront of their medical agenda. We hope that other teams follow their lead and introduce robust oral health screening and promotion as a routine element of their programs.”
But what also interests us is the picture the Sun uses to show the state of teeth in the Premier League:
Luis Suarez has strong teeth (see his biting history). He also played for none of the clubs surveyed. If we’re going to look at the teeth of players who used to play in England, then this is better:
And Manchester United’s Nobby Styles, for it is he, won the World Cup.
Teeth. Who needs ’em?