Sports Drinks and Dental Problems in Athletes 

Oct. 14, 2014 -- Dental problems caused by sports drinks could harm athletes' chances of victory, a new study suggests.

It found that nearly one-fifth of athletes at the London 2012 Olympics had toothaches or bleeding gums that could have cost them a place on the podium, the Daily Mail in Britain reported.

Eighteen percent of the athletes said they had dental problems that negatively affected their ability to perform. About 46 percent said they had not seen a dentist in the past year.

Many elite athletes eat high-carbohydrate diets and consume sugary, acidic energy drinks, which may contribute tooth decay and erosion, the Daily Mail reported.

In addition, intense training can lead to dehydration, resulting in reduced production of saliva, which helps protect teeth from decay.