A study was conducted on what exactly gets on a football players mouthguard when they use them during games and practices.
Colts safety Antoine Bethea says that he’s often thought about what gets on his mouth piece.
“It’s nasty, isn’t it?” asked Bethea, per the USA Today. “I thought about that when I first started playing. I’ve thought about that a million times. You just hope it’s nothing too bad.”
Beathea read the list and than came upon the one item that is quite disturbing.
“Animal feces,” he said. “That’s disgusting. That’s disgusting. That’s crazy, man.”
“Mouthguards are exposed, through handling, to whatever elements are found on football fields. It’s a scary lot. Studies have found blood, sputum, mouth discharges (tobacco products), chemicals, animal feces and other players’ DNA on players’ hands, gloves, helmets, uniforms, shoes, socks and equipment,” wrote Phil Richards of USA Today.
It seems like there are no way for NFL players to keep their mouthguars from getting contaminated.
“Richard T. Glass, professor of forensic sciences, pathology and dental medicine at Oklahoma State University, has studied mouthguards extensively. He collaborated on a study that found microbial contamination of mouthguards by bacteria, yeasts and molds associated with heart disease, pneumonia, meningitis and infections of the skin, mouth, gum, bone and urinary and gastro-intestinal tracts.
“The unpleasant and self-evident truth is this: if a player removes and reinserts his mouthguard, he might as well be sticking his fingers or gloves in his mouth,” wrote Richards.
When I played football back in high school I knew had to be come dirt that was getting on my mouthguard, but never worried about it since I knew I had to use one.