Dentists and most other health care professionals have started sounding the sugar alarm bells louder than ever. Headlines have even gone so far as to call sugar the new smoking. Sugar is in most of our favorite desserts, but it also shows up as an additive in sports drinks, crackers, pizza and other snacks. Even things we have considered healthy, such as fruits juice and yogurt, usually have high amounts of sugar in every serving.
Sugar, you’re breaking our hearts
This popular, common substance can have life-threatening effects. A diet high in sugar increases the risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease. And sugar is also really bad for our dental health. It is known to cause tooth decay more efficiently than any other food substance. Sugar can also cause gum disease, and gum disease can lead to heart and coronary artery disease.
Common symptoms of a cavity and gum disease
- Pain in a tooth or in your gums
- Food always getting caught in your teeth
- A rough edge on a tooth
- Sensitivity to hot, cold or sweet
- Red gums
- Bleeding gums
- Receding gums
Sugar substitutes may be just as unhealthy
Just because something we eat or drink is sugar-free, it doesn’t mean it’s safe for our teeth. A recent study has shown that sugar-free sodas, sports drinks and candy can also damage our teeth. Researchers found that some of the acidic additives in sugar-free products can also harm our teeth, causing the equally damaging condition of dental erosion. This can occur when acid dissolves the tooth’s hard tissues, stripping away the surface layers of tooth enamel. In it’s most advanced stages, it can expose the soft pulp inside your tooth.
Tips to help you protect your teeth from sugar and sugar substitutes:
- Read product labels
- Check for acidic additives, such as citric acid and phosphoric acid
- Check for high fructose and other kinds of corn syrups
- Drink more (fluoridated) water
- Eliminate soft drinks and sports drinks from your diet as much as possible
- See your dentist regularly
Call today for your appointment: (304) 754-8803.