The Sweet Tooth Threat
Maybe it is you or someone you know, but we’ve all heard the phrase “It’s my sweet tooth” as a lighthearted excuse to consume some extra sugar. The truth is there are some real health threats for those that have a sweet tooth, and it goes beyond cavities and obesity.
Sugar is a leading cause of tooth decay. When you consume sugar, either through drink or food, it is broken down by bacteria in the mouth to produce acid. This creates tooth decay, or a cavity. You may think that cavities are relatively harmless for your child as long as you get them filled. However, cavities are said to affect more than 16 million children annually, causing extreme pain and the inability to concentrate. Tooth decay can significantly affect your quality of life; more than 51 million school hours and 164 million work hours are missed each year due to cavities. Sadly, this is largely preventable with proper oral hygiene and dental exams.
The link between your oral health and overall health is a strong one. For example,
poor oral health habits can result in uncontrolled bacteria in our mouths, as they feed on daily sugar consumption. This bacteria cannot only cause infection and inflammation in your mouth, but it can spread to the rest of your body, resulting in serious medical problems. Recent evidence suggests a noteworthy relationship between gum disease and diabetes. If your gums are inflamed, your body has a more difficult time regulating your blood sugar levels. Furthermore, The Journal of Periodontology and the America Journal of Cardiology published a consensus report that shows there is growing evidence of a link between oral disease, heart disease and stroke.
The message is simple; we must take care of our oral health in order to keep our overall health in check. In doing so, it may mean controlling your sweet tooth a bit more. Gilreath Dental Associates helps patients commit to not only brushing and flossing daily, but also reducing unnecessary sugar from their diet. Limiting sugar consumption will lead to a healthier mouth, body and overall quality of life!
Posted on behalf of Dr. Paul Gilreath IV, Gilreath Dental Associates