According to guidelines released by the American Heart Association (AHA), the recommended daily sugar intake should be 5 tsps. for women, 9 tsps. for men, and 3 tsps. for children. Exceeding this amount can lead to diseases such as diabetes, obesity, heart-related problems, and even cancer. But as our previous post demonstrated, sugar is everywhere and running away from it is almost close to the impossible.
Sugar and Teeth
When consuming sweets or sugar, it is broken down by enzymes in the mouth. The end process then provides a breeding ground for bacteria and as they feed, they expel acids that not only weaken and eventually damage teeth enamel but also inflame gums leading to gum disease.
While sugar does play a role in oral diseases, it should be clear that excessive consumption of sweets and sugar coupled with bad oral hygiene are what leads to caries and gum disease.
However, before we go blaming sugar for all our ills; we should point out that sugar is essential to our health. Sugar provides energy boosts, helps with metabolism, and moderates the production of stress hormones. Total Body Dentistry emphasizes that a balanced diet helps in maintaining good oral health. Learning to distinguish “healthy” sugar from the “harmful” also does a lot of help.
Indeed, it is the copious amounts of sugar that is consumed daily that we should be wary of and not sugar per se. With that said, we can reduce our sugar intake through reading labels (particularly the ingredients of processed food) and knowing what the many different types of sugar used in our food.
Sugar and sweets are pleasurable, there’s no doubt about that but this proves the old adage that too much of anything good can be bad. We’re not telling you to stay away from those M&Ms, what we’re saying is to practice moderation and to always brush after eating sweets (or drink water, at least.)