Nearly forty percent. Four in 10. Almost half.

Any way you look at it, the number of professional footballers in Britain with poor oral health is serious.

According to a story for AFP (Agence France-Presse) by Marlowe Hood, nearly 40 percent of professional football players in Britain have rotted teeth, in some cases serious enough to affect performance in the game, according to a new study by UCL Eastman Dental Institute.

Lead author Ian Needleman led dentists and doctors in examining 187 players at eight clubs in England and Wales whose average age is 24.  

Very few clubs  have staff dentists, the researchers observed. 

According to the AFP@AFP story:

  • At least 90 percent of players in each squad were examined and questioned about their health.
  • Thirty-seven percent had active tooth decay, the researchers found, and more than half had teeth eroded by acid.
  • Eight in 10 players had gum disease, with half the mouth affected in three out of four players.
  • For one in 20, damage to the gums was irreversible.

Find out why players in the Premier League (Hull, Manchester United, Southampton, Swansea City and West Ham), the second-tier Championship league and League One put off seeing a dentist despite tooth pain:–sow.html

Learn the possible causes behind the problem: