Doha, Qatar: Aspetar, the specialised orthopaedic and sports medicine hospital, organised a symposium on the Role of Oral Health in Sports on Wednesday. More than 250 healthcare professionals, dentists, nurses, dental assistants and hygienists, along with physiotherapists and radiographers drawn from across a range of health institutions in Qatar, took part in the symposium.
It covered a wide variety of important topics including periodontitis and its relationship to implant treatment, types of dento-alveolar trauma and the different treatment options. The programme also covered the best approach to management of acute dental trauma, the effects of oral health on general health, suggestions for how to apply skills and knowledge to prevent simple trauma, as well as the developments on dental emergencies and injuries on the sports field for physicians who are not specialised in dentistry.
Dr. Mohammad Al-Saey, Consultant in Oral Surgery and Director of Sports Dentistry at Aspetar opened the symposium and welcomed the attendees before outlining its objectives and highlighting the serious implications of athletes neglecting their oral health, and how this could even lead to the termination of their professional careers.
“The symposium is part of Aspetar’s continuous efforts to educate healthcare professionals, especially those who are active on the sports field. This includes raising their awareness on how to deal with dental emergencies, how to safely remove injured athletes and provide them with appropriate medical care, and the importance of mouthguards in injury prevention,” Dr. Mohammad Al-Saey said.
Aspetar is the only centre in Qatar to provide custom-made mouth guards for athletes. Aspetar places high importance in providing these mouth guards because of the crucial role that they can play in preventing oral injuries, particularly in contact sports by acting as a ‘cushion’ between the upper and lower jaws to absorb the trauma. Such mouth guards can protect athletes from a number of serious oral injuries including teeth factures, jaw factures as well as soft tissue and lip injuries.
“Many athletes may not realise the serious implications that can arise from failing to adequately take care of their teeth. Chronic periodontitis can make athletes more susceptible to spasm or muscle tear. Oral bacteria can also affect the blood’s viscosity which can lead to partial or total blockage of some of the heart’s blood vessels. The risk of having jaw fracture is also increased in comparison to a healthy jaw”, Al-Saey added.
Aspetar is the first hospital in the Middle East to launch a first-aid dental kit – a unique initiative that enables competent pain relief and treatment of oral injuries for athletes on and off the field. The kit was carefully-designed to include a number of dental materials and tools needed to treat the most common oral injuries among athletes. It is particularly useful when athletes are far away from a hospital or a dentistry clinic – for example, when athletes are taking part in international training camps.
The dental kit was unveiled by Aspetar’s Sports Dentistry department at a unique workshop organized for doctors at sport clubs and federations in Qatar. The kit also contains a step-by-step guide on how to use it effectively, as well as the emergency on-call contact number at Aspetar’s Sports Dentistry Department to consult in the event of any emergency situations affecting athlete oral injuries.