St Mary’s University academics explore impact of oral health in sport

Academics from the School of Sport, Health and Applied Science at St Mary’s University, Twickenham have co-authored a Consensus Statement on Oral Health Care and Elite Sport Performance, which was published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

St Mary’s Head of School Prof John Brewer and Visiting Research Professor Prof Ken van Someren were amongst the panel of experts who co-authored the paper, which examines the issues of oral health in elite sport.

Existing research into the subject is limited but show that there is poor oral health amongst elite athletes, which can impact on the training and performance of athletes. Following calls from the International Olympic Committee for more accurate data on the topic, this Consensus Statement explores some of the issues of oral health, recommending strategies for prevention and indeed health promotion in elite athletes.

Prof Brewer and Prof van Someren specifically explored the impact of sports drinks on oral healthcare which can, due to the frequency consumed, have a big impact on oral health.

Prof John Brewer, who joined St Mary’s earlier this month, has specialised in the sport science and sport injury field for 25 years including as a member of the leadership team in the Nutritional Healthcare Business at GlaxoSmithKline Plc (GSK) and academic leadership roles.

Prof van Someren, who has a long standing relationship with St Mary’s School of Sport, Health and Applied Science, is currently Head of Research and Development at the GlaxoSmithKine Human Performance Lab, joined the University in May to strengthen the institutions research profile in Applied Sport and Exercise Science.