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Objectives/Aims: Competitive athletes are often considered to be susceptible to bodily injury. It is now being realized that competitive swimmers are also at risk, specifically in the unsuspected realm of the oral cavity. The purpose of our research is to examine the effect of competitive swimming on an athlete's oral health status.

Methods: Using sources found on Pubmed and Google Scholar, the data used for the correlation of swimming pools and generalized dental trauma are as follows: competitive swimmers and non- competitive swimmers were examined for specific variables such as decayed, missing, or restoratively involved teeth, plaque and gingival index, and the presence of enamel erosion, calculus, and stain. The groups evaluated were divided in terms of activity level involving chlorinated swimming pools.

Results: Three specific oral health effects will be explored throughout our research. The first oral health effect that will be analyzed is the incidence of chlorine induced calculus buildup exhibited in competitive swimmers. Another health effect that will be examined is the process of dental staining that swimmers can experience when in consistent contact with the pool. Lastly, we will explore erosion of enamel that can occur from the lower pH values of pool water. Through various studies, it has been determined that professional swimmers are likely to exhibit a higher prevalence of generalized erosion of dental enamel, generalized dental stain, and chlorine-induced calculus as opposed to individuals who don’t often swim within chlorinated water. This topic is of great importance as the chemical used to disinfect swimming pools causes evident physical and chemical dental trauma in not only professional swimmers, but also individuals who spend more than 6 hours per week in the pool performing vigorous physical exercise.

Conclusion: Oral health in competitive swimmers is a topic that affects many children and adults worldwide, indicating a large prevalence of dental trauma without obvious correlation to the swimming pool despite its significance.

Publication Date



swimming, oral health, dentition, chlorine, chlorinated pools, erosion, staining, swimmer's calculus, swimmer's mouth


Dental Hygiene | Sports Sciences

Faculty Advisor/Mentor

LaTesha McLee, Assistant Professor

Dental Hygiene Student Scholarship

Date of Submission

April 2020

The Effect of Competitive Swimming on Oral Health Status