Dental Hygiene ETDs

Publication Date

Spring 4-13-2018


Swimming is known worldwide as one of the healthiest, low-impact forms of exercise and for the subsequent promotion of a strong body, heart, and mind. However, many swimmers and non-swimmers do not realize that swimming in a pool can have a negative effect on the oral cavity. Several studies have suggested that pool chlorination is responsible for dental erosion, calculus formation, and stain in competitive and recreational swimmers, and this phenomenon is known as ‘swimmer’s mouth.’ A pilot experimental research study was conducted that evaluated the prevalence of chlorine stain in the oral cavity of twenty-one female swimmers from the University of New Mexico Swimming and Diving Team.

Participants received a consent form, questionnaire, and basic oral screening to evaluate for staining. Utilizing the entire team, data revealed that all twenty-one individuals had staining as a result of ‘swimmer’s mouth.’ The purpose of this pilot study was to assess this condition and determine if daily brushing and professional cleanings prevent the harmful effects of chlorine on the oral cavity. Interestingly, the presence of stain was not influenced by how often the individual received professional cleanings. Also, the majority of the participants answered that they brushed their teeth two to three times a day. Unfortunately, these factors did not help the removal of stain completely; therefore, additional oral hygiene regimens need to be established to facilitate the complete removal of stain. With the results from this pilot study, further analysis can ultimately take place to solidify data concerning ‘swimmer’s mouth.’

Degree Name

Dental Hygiene

Level of Degree


Department Name

Dental Medicine

First Committee Member (Chair)

Christine Nathe

Second Committee Member

Christina Calleros

Third Committee Member

Diana Aboytes

Fourth Committee Member

Orrin Myers




Mouth, Chlorine, Chlorides, Tooth Discoloration, Swimming, and Staining and Labeling

Document Type