Many people don’t realize it but the adverse impact of sugar intake is just as bad for teeth as it is for the increased risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Here in Sugar Nation, the average American downs 70 pounds of added sugars each year. Sugars are crammed into and hidden in foods you think are good for you (e.g., flavored oatmeal, many yogurts, and fat-free and low-fat salad dressings) — fooling you and fueling your sugar addiction.
The information came to the forefront again because of new plans soon to be underway in the United Kingdom. Food and all things that a person consumes are just as important to one’s oral health as other aspects. This issue is a pressing matter based on the amounts of sugary drinks children consume these days.
There are several reasons that adults lose their teeth. The most common reasons involve a combination of poor oral hygiene and dietary habits. Dentists recommend that adults brush their teeth at least twice a day and floss at least once a day. These habits stop plaque from building up on or between your teeth. Plaque build-up can cause cavities to form as the bacteria eats away at enamel. It can also cause your gums to become inflamed and infected. Tooth decay and gum disease can both weaken the tissues supporting your teeth, which can make your teeth loosen and fall out.
Sometimes people don’t go to the dentist regularly – even if a tooth hurts because they’re afraid of pain associated with fixing problems or think they don’t have the money to pay for treatments. Unfortunately, putting off dental treatment can only make the problem worse and you may ultimately face tooth loss if you ignore symptoms or skip your regular dental checkups.
In addition to poor oral hygiene habits, eating a lot of candy, gum, or other sugary snacks can lead to tooth loss because sugar contributes to tooth decay, especially if you don’t brush after eating. Smoking or chewing tobacco can also damage your teeth and gums. Finally, grinding your teeth can make them shorter and more prone to decay.
Toothy decay results from the acid produced when sugar and oral bacteria combine. A review of studies conducted by the World Health Organization supports the link involving the level of sugar consumed and the onset of cavities. The risk of tooth decay is reduced when the level of sugar intake is less then 10 percent of the caloric intake.
Even though fluoride is readily available, tooth decay is a major health concern. That’s the reason these new plans are being put in place.
There are also certain new policies looking to be recommended, such as not having added sugar contribute more than 5 percent of total energy intake. Also, one of the key goals is to reach an industry standard as far as reducing sugar in processed foods and drinks.
The best way to prevent tooth loss is to practice good dental health habits, which include brushing and flossing regularly. Also, see your dentist at least once every six months and make an appointment as soon as possible if you experience tooth pain or other dental problems.
It’s also important to maintain a healthy diet that contains adequate calcium, protein, and other nutrients, and talk to your doctor and dentist about dietary changes if you seem to be having tooth problems. You also should get tested regularly for diabetes, especially if you have a family history or experience tooth loss or decay on a regular basis.
Your teeth are more important to your overall health than you might think. Losing your teeth not only makes you look unhealthy, but also may be the sign of a serious health problem. Identifying dental and overall health issues early gives you a greater chance to recover quickly and prevent future complications. Even if you’ve engaged in bad oral hygiene habits in the past, you can make a fresh start today and prevent further damage to your teeth.