We’ve all been told that excess sugar is bad for our teeth and dental health, but did you also know that too much sugar can be harmful to your overall health?
Mounting evidence indicates that the regular consumption of excess sugar can heighten a person’s risk for life-threatening systemic health problems. The effects of eating too much sugar have become such a global health concern that the World Health Organization (WHO) recently drafted new guidelines regarding a person’s recommended daily sugar intake.
Sugar and Your Dental Health
The regular consumption of foods and drinks that are high in sugar contributes to dental plaque, which contains the bacteria that can lead to tooth decay and cavities without proper care.
Foods and drinks with excessive sugar can also cause the premature erosion of your tooth enamel, which further leads to tooth discoloration and tooth decay. The oral health problems associated with sugar are additionally linked to an increased risk of periodontal disease.
Sugar and Your Overall Health
The impacts of excessive sugar aren’t limited to your mouth. In recent years, research into sugar’s effects on systemic health has connected excess sugar with a number of severe health problems including:
- Weight gain
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Heart disease
- Liver disease
The good news is that research has also shown that restricting sugar intake can reduce your risk for dental cavities, gum disease and other health problems.
It’s not realistic to completely cut unhealthy sugars from your diet, especially if you have children in the home. But there are steps you can take to protect your teeth—and your overall health—from the harmful effects of too much sugar.
Make minor alterations to your diet, substituting raw fruits or vegetables for the occasional sugary snack and drinking water or milk instead of a soda, juice or sports drink. The American Dental Association’s MouthHealthy website offers additional information about your diet and your dental health, as well as tips about how to make healthy dietary choices.
Most importantly, practice a good dental hygiene routine. Brush your teeth at least twice daily with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste; floss at least once daily after brushing to remove food particles that can become trapped in hard-to-reach spaces between your teeth. And visit your dentist for regular checkups and teeth cleanings; your routine exams allow your dentist to detect oral health and general health concerns before they become serious problems.
Dr. Andrew Hall offers comprehensive general and cosmetic dentistry services to patients in the Colorado Springs area. If you’re looking for a knowledgeable and compassionate dentist, please contact The Studio for Exceptional Dentistry online or call our office at 709-602-2614 to schedule your personal consultation.