• September 29, 2015

Sweets. You probably love them. There aren’t a whole lot of people who don’t, and that’s part of the problem! With America’s growing sweet tooth has come a whole bunch of problems. For us at Shorewood Family Dental Care it’s tooth decay and gum disease, but that’s hardly the extent of it!

Sugar causes a lot of problems for your entire body, not just your teeth! We want to take a break from discussing all things dental here on our blog and talk about a problem that affects your teeth and every other part of your body: excess sugar!

The Not-So-Sweet Part

Sugar can be great in small doses – the American Heart Association says that you should consume no more than nine teaspoons of sugar a day. Unfortunately for most of us that suggestion has gone unheeded – the average American eats over 20 teaspoons in a day! And that’s just added sugar, so they aren’t counting sugar found naturally in many of the things we eat!

Let’s start with your mouth. Sugar in foods and drinks is the dream food for the plaque bacteria that make a home in your mouth. When they eat sugar they produce an acid that destroys your teeth’s enamel, leading to cavities and tooth decay! But sugar doesn’t stop there – it keeps moving to the rest of your body and wreaking havoc there as well!

Pour Some Sugar In You?

Once it passes your mouth and gets into your stomach and bloodstream sugar starts to metabolize. That’s where the trouble for your health really starts. The foods you eat primarily contain two types of sugar: fructose and glucose.

Fructose is the kind of sugar that really doesn’t do a body good. You’ll find it in candy, cakes, soda, and other sweet treats. Unlike glucose, which your body uses for energy, fructose goes straight to your liver and gets turned into fat. The excess fat that fructose breaks down into is what tends to cause an increase in heart disease and type 2 diabetes risk since a lot of it ends up in your bloodstream.

Glucose, on the other hand, has at least some good to do. Found in rice, potatoes, bread, and other starchy foods, glucose is one of your body’s primary sources of energy. Consumed in proper amounts it can be a good boost but it’s rarely kept to the levels it should be.

When your body metabolizes glucose it releases insulin to help move it around the body to the cells that need the energy. Too much glucose equals too much insulin and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes! Not only is increased blood sugar a cause of diabetes, it can also lead to brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, and even brain shrinkage!

That isn’t the only list of health concerns that come from too much sugar. You’re also opening yourself up to inflammatory diseases like arthritis and certain kinds of cancer as well! With so many things that can go wrong by consuming too much sugar you’re best to limit your intake considerably!

What You Can Do To Stay Healthy

When it comes to protecting your health there are a lot of things you can do, and first on the list is definitely lessening your sugar intake! The AHA might say nine tablespoons a day is the max but it won’t hurt to eat less either! You should also stay active and eat healthy!

When it comes to your teeth there are only a few things you can do to protect them (aside from eating less sugar). You need to be sure you have good oral care habits at home – brush twice a day and floss in the evening – stay hydrated, and most importantly you need to make regular cleanings and exams part of your life!

If you’ve been neglecting dental care for whatever reason you should know that Shorewood Family Dental can help! We’re experts in not only creating a great environment that’s judgment-free and compassionate but in relieving dental anxiety as well!

Don’t neglect your dental health – make an appointment today to see us at our Shorewood dentist office. You can reach us by calling 815-768-1615 or by requesting an appointment online. We look forward to seeing you soon!