In 2011-12, Australians consumed over 100 grams of total sugars daily. More than half of this was free sugars (60 grams, equivalent to approximately 14 level teaspoons of white sugar), All that sugar doesn’t come from obvious sources like soda, cake and candy; instead it is “hidden” in other products, including condiments, salad dressings, breads and rolls, and processed, prepackaged foods (which are often bad for you on other accounts as well).
Nearly three-quarters of packaged foods sold in supermarkets contain significant amounts of sugar.
Doctors know that sugar is related to serious health complications such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity, but did you know that sugar also acts as food for oral bacteria, leading to tooth decay? In turn, tooth decay harms your overall oral health, potentially leading to negative effects on your overall health as well.
Because consumption of too much sugar is so dangerous, at EK Dental we want to work with you to reduce your sugar consumption – it’s a strategy for oral and overall health!
Health Issues Related to Sugar
Consuming sugar can also lead to severe oral health issues, including:
- Tooth decay and cavities
- Extreme changes in your bite (the way your upper and lower teeth come together)
- Reduction in the size of your back teeth
- The replacement of dental work
- Tooth loss or extraction of unhealthy teeth
- Gum surgery
- Dental implants
Here are 8 ways sugar can damage your health.
- Sugar can damage your heart
A 2013 study in the Journal of the American Heart Association displayed evidence that sugar can actually affect the pumping mechanism of your heart and could increase the risk for heart failure.
Sugar promotes belly fat
- A 2010 studyin children found that excess fructose intake caused visceral fat cells to mature — setting the stage for a big belly and even bigger future risk for heart disease and diabetes.
- Sugar may be linked to cancer production and may effect cancer survival
Studies have found associations between high sugar and starch intake and lower survival rates in breast cancer patients and colon cancer patients.
- Sugar and alcohol have similar toxic liver effects on the body
A 2012 paper in the journal Nature, proposed the idea that limitations and warnings should be placed on sugar similar to warnings we see on alcohol. The authors showed evidence that fructose and glucose in excess can have a toxic effect on the liver as the metabolism of ethanol. Further, sugar increased the risk for several of the same chronic conditions that alcohol was responsible for.
- Sugar may sap your brain power
A 2012 study found that excess sugar consumption was linked to deficiencies in memory and overall cognitive health.
- Sugar hides in many everyday “non-sugar” foods
Many unexpected favorite foods also contain lots of sugar. Examples include tomato sauce, fat free dressing, tonic water, marinates, crackers and even bread.
- An overload of sugar may shorten your life
A 2013 studyestimated that 180,000 deaths worldwide may be attributed to sweetened beverage consumption.
- Sugar is making us fat
The lack of nutrients in sugar makes it much easier to eat too much of it. Sugar gives you calories, but not the feeling that you’ve had enough.
Switch to black coffee. A coffee break tends to be a time many people use too much sugar, often without realizing it.
Drink water. A recent survey in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics found that people who drank just 1% more water each day cut their sugar intake by 1 to 4 teaspoons.
Watch the honey, agave, and other natural sweeteners. Billed as “natural” sweeteners because they’re less refined than table sugar, honey and agave can be misleading. Per teaspoon, they pack roughly the same number of calories and sugar as regular sugar.
Read labels until you understand them. Manufacturers disguise sugars behind multiple names: corn sweetener, corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, fruit juice concentrates, glucose, high-fructose corn syrup, lactose, maltose, and, well, you get the idea!
Pay attention to listed serving sizes. If you eat twice the serving size, you’re getting twice the sugar, and manufacturers often list unrealistic serving sizes.
Finally, nothing helps your overall dental health, including damage done by sugars, more than a good oral routine at home and regular appointments with your EK Dental dentist. Give us a call, we’re waiting!
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EK Dental Surgery offers a wide range of preventative and cosmetic dental procedures that will help you achieve the smile of your dreams with reduced or absent anxiety!
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