Elite athletes have a better chance of winning gold medals if they look after their teeth, suggest dentists.
A study showed that about 20 per cent of athletes said that their oral health damaged their training and performance for the Games.
At the Oral Health and Performance in Sport conference in London, dentists said tooth pain could cause disruption in sleep and training and inflammation of the gums could affect the rest of the body, impairing performance.
However, Prof Ian Needleman, director of the International Centre for Evidence-Based Oral Health at University College London, told the BBC the research they did at London 2012 found a large proportion of young athletes, fantastically well tuned physically, had really poor oral health.
The study has been published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.