Could limiting sugar intake improve your dental health?
A little bit sugar makes more than just the medicine go down, and for many people across the U.S., a daily dose of this sweet confection is all it takes to turn a frown upside down!
Yet it's no secret that sugar – and lots of it – can be harmful for overall oral hygiene. The question is, just how negative is the impact of sugar and other mouthwatering treats rich in this substance?
Recent measures by the Food and Drug Administration suggest that the long-term consequences of sugar consumption may be tougher to swallow than previously believed. This, coupled with recent studies on the link between poor health and bad oral hygiene suggests that more needs to be done in order to improve dental wellness!
FDA and sugar
According to Dentistry Today, recent recommendations from the Center for Science and Public Interest have inspired the FDA to explore the impact of sugar on daily diets.
The agency is considering establishing a baseline for sugar in products because of the rampant consumption of sugar daily.
The news source notes that the average American ingests between 18 to 23 teaspoons of sugar each day, and that a 20-oz bottle of soda – the average size for the beverage – contains 16 teaspoons of sugar.
Conversely, the American Heart Association recommends that people consume no more than nine teaspoons of sugar daily. This can contribute to poor cardiovascular health as well as increased risk for tooth decay.
If the FDA ultimately restricts the level of sugar allowed in beverages and other consumable goods, it could result in substantial changes to the eating habits of many Americans.
Can diabetes pose dental health problems?
Nearly 26 million individuals are affected by diabetes in the U.S., and according to the American Diabetes Association, issues with oral health are common for those affected by diabetes.
Specifically, periodontitis – a severe form of gum disease that results in gums receding from teeth – can impact men and women with diabetes and lead to teeth becoming weak and potentially falling out of the mouth as the bone structure keeping teeth in place becomes more vulnerable.
According to the ADA, those who have a difficult time controlling their blood glucose levels may be more susceptible to dental disorders, as well as thrush – a condition that can be likened to having a yeast infection in one's mouth.
Getting the right care
The best way to prevent dental health problems is to be proactive about dental care and schedule regular appointments with a cosmetic dentist. Affordable dentists in your neighborhood can give you several options for oral care and maintenance and also provide treatment for a range of health issues.
Coping with the cost of dental care can leave many individuals in the lurch. In an effort to meet the public health challenges that dental decay can create, states like Minnesota have taken matters into their own hands.
With the Minnesota Oral Health Plan, the Minnesota Department of Health estimates that the state could save $49 million annually in hospital-related expenses, while also providing better care to residents, Kare11 reported.
"Oral health actually links to a whole variety of things," Edward Ehlinger, commissioner of health, told the news source. "It's linked in many ways to healthy babies, preterm births. It's linked to heart disease. It's linked to cancer. It's linked to obesity. It's linked to a lot of things causing problems in our health care."