Sugars and Dental Caries: Dentist’s Guide for Sugar Intake

What is dental caries?

Dental caries or tooth decay happens when your mouth’s acid damages your teeth enamel, and dentine of the teeth leads to holes and cavity to form. Similar to other parts f our body, the mouth is also the home of microorganism flora. They are considered to be good bacteria used to digest your food. But suppose you do not wash your mouth correctly. In that case, some harmful bacteria accumulate into your mouth, form plaque, produce acid and are responsible for tooth decay. The acid produced by harmful bacteria directly attacks your tooth enamel and starts tooth decay. Sugar and sugar-containing diets are responsible for dental caries. When you consume sugar, it interacts with the plaque-forming bacteria to generate acid. The acid slowly dissolves the teeth enamels, and create holes and cavity in your teeth. Dental caries causes tooth abscesses. In this case, there is an intense possibility to remove your affected teeth to save the entire oral health.

Dental caries has become a common problem worldwide. From a result study, the dentist has shown a report that an estimated 1 in 3 adults is wounded from dental caries, and 1 in 4 children suffers from extensive tooth decay.

The dentist reviewed dental caries as a dynamic multifunctional disease caused by excess sugar consumption and bacterial plaque formation. Both of these factors disturb the balance between two essential processes of demineralization and remineralization of dental enamel. Intreated dental caries can entirely damage your oral health; it is the most prevalent oral disease globally. The treatment is usually expensive. For that reason, the dentist suggests limiting sugar consumption.

How sugar intake negatively affects oral health?

Dental caries or tooth decay is the most popular noncommunicable chronic oral problem worldwide, and it affects all age groups ranging from children to old age people. According to statistical reports, 15.7% of children in the United States and 23.7% of adults suffers from uncured dental caries. It happens because people do not take the issue seriously, but it gradually becomes severe and causes tooth abscission. The untreated oral problem negatively impacts the quality of your life. The treatment is expensive. Even a low level of dental caries is considered a serious concern as tooth decay is a progressive and cumulative dental issue.

The common reason for tooth decay or dental caries is excess sugar or sugary product consumption.

Classification of sugars

Dietary sugars include monosaccharides such as fructose, glucose, galactose, and disaccharides such as lactose, galactose, sucrose, maltose. Both of the saccharides are present in natural food ingredients and those added to packaged food products. These packaged products are considered to be the added sugar dietary item. Honey, sugar syrup, high fructose corn syrup, maple syrup, molasses is enriched with monosaccharides and disaccharides. Therefore, excess consumption of sugar can deteriorate your overall dental health because the sugar produces acids by reacting with plaque-forming bacteria.

On the other hand, Fruits, vegetables, and grains contain natural sugar in their cellular structure. Dairy products also contain natural sugar. This natural sugar is not responsible for tooth decay or other noncommunicable diseases. Natural food sources include other health-protective factors such as water content, fibre content, calcium, and other polyphenolic compounds. The natural food source stimulates the salivary flow, which mitigates the potential sugar damage.

Sugars other than natural food sugars are classified as free sugar by WHO. The free sugars such as all kinds of monosaccharides and disaccharides added into fruit juice, sweet beverage, honey, syrups have immense contribution to tooth decay. So, WHO advises limiting free sugar consumption.

Sugar and tooth decay

Free sugar in food and drinks is a crucial element in the development of dental caries. Bacteria within plaque utilize sugar as energy and produce acid as the metabolic product, which gradually dissolves your teeth enamel. In 2010. WHO commissioned a literature review to prove the effect of sugar on dental caries. The study showed that the link between the amount of sugar you consumed and dental caries developed.

Ageing promotes dental caries, and the impact of free sugar on your oral health is lifelong. Scientific data reports show that you can get benefit from limiting sugar consumption. You can minimize the risk of dental caries by replacing the free sugar with natural sugar.

Dietary advice

If you are suffering from dental problems, you should consult with a board-certified dentist from best dental clinic in Chennai. Presently we consume too much sugar in our diet through carbonated beverages, fruit juice, cake, pastry, ice cream, and chocolates. The WHO and SACN suggested that the requirement for a reduction in sugar consumption to 5% of our energy consumption. It equals seven teaspoons/cubes or 30 g of free sugar daily for the adult individual. The amount is 24 g of age 5 to 11 years, and 19 g for children of 4 to 6. Reduction of consuming free sugar also saves you from obesity and diabetes.

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