What Causes Tooth Decay: The Role Of Sugar

Although sugar is one of the first things that comes to mind when we talk about what causes tooth decay it is almost always for the wrong reasons. As I have already dispelled the myth that teeth decay from attacks on the exterior surface in another article, on what causes tooth decay, I won’t go into it here.

Nevertheless, even though tooth decay is, as I have pointed out, a result of a reversal of dentinal flow, sugar plays a major role in creating the mineral imbalance, which causes the reversal. Sugar in any form, be it fruit, honey, carbohydrate or refined has a dramatic effect, even in minute quantities.

I know that this is not good news for most of us, but the alternative of tooth decay and dental work is even less appealing. What is really quite remarkable is that this knowledge, which originated in the work of two prominent dentists and has been known for many decades, has been largely ignored.

We have been led to believe that sweets are OK as long as you brush and floss right away and regularly. Yet with all of the products and services sold for dental care people’s teeth continue to degenerate at an alarming pace. Go figure.

As I pointed out in the earlier article if the serum phosphorus level drops below 3.5 the dentinal flow reverses causing decay. Dr. Page a student of Dr. Weston Price, both historical figures in dentistry, in experiments conducted in the first half of the last century, found that sugar could reduce the phosphorus level.

This reduction of phosphorus blood levels, in turn produced an increase in calcium levels in the bloodstream. Yet the excess calcium could not be used by the body because of the imbalance with phosphorus and could even become toxic.

Dr. Page found that when he took his patients off of sugar and put them on a whole food diet not only did their dental woes begin to fade away, many other problems did likewise. He ran more than 2,000 blood chemistries to study the relationship between calcium and phosphorus levels and tooth decay.

He found that obtaining a 2.5 ratio of calcium to phosphorus would halt the resorption of bone. In other words, at that ratio cavities would not form. Further, he determined that maintaining a blood sugar level of 85, plus or minus 5, would sustain the necessary calcium to phosphorus ratio, all other things being equal.

The caveat here is that the patients were on diets providing the required levels of calcium, phosphorus and other necessary nutrients. Note that there is a plus or minus range for our optimum blood sugar level. Hence, sugar is not only an essential nutrient for our bodies, but also for our oral health.

Sugar is one of the body’s most important fuels and is the preferred source of energy for our brains and muscles. The problem is, these days, more than 50% of Americans consume 180 lbs per year compared to an average of 4 lbs per year in 1700.

Researchers have found sugar to be something like 4 times as addictive as cocaine. The historical rise in consumption supports this. The most deadly form, high fructose corn syrup made from GMO corn, is in just about every edible packaged product lining today’s chain grocery outlets.

Most people don’t have a clue as to how much sugar they consume every day. The addictive quality comes from the rush experienced consuming refined sugars including white flour due to the surge of glucose in the bloodstream as I explained in an article on whole grains.

Some suggestions to break free from this nutritional trap include only eating whole grains including the germ. Best to mill the kernels yourself. This is a complex carbohydrate requiring the body to work to break it down. This way our bodies get the required sugar without the addictive rush. I can’t recall ever hearing anyone say they were craving a slice of whole wheat bread.

In weaning myself from excess sugar I threw out refined and bought organic cane sugar. I then began displacing that with natural sweeteners like honey and maple syrup. I have all but eliminated sugar proper from my diet.

Then, what I found really helpful to cut way back on even natural sweeteners was, in a manner of speaking, tricking my body. As I lowered the amount of natural sweetener I increased spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves, which my body associates with sweets. This works surprisingly well.

Another helpful, healthy measure was to eat a variety of fermented foods like kefir, sourdough and sauerkraut. As some of the names imply, these foods have an attractive sour tang to them, which, by the way, grows on you.

Type 2 Diabetes, High Blood Sugar Levels and Oral Health!

Type 2 diabetics can develop a host of oral health issues if steps are not taken to prevent them. Periodontal or gum disease is a common complication of type 2 diabetes, as high blood sugar levels raise the risk of developing this problem, and the problem in turn often raises blood sugar levels. Glucose is excreted into your saliva when your blood sugar level is high… this may contribute further to you having cavities. You can develop tooth decay from these high blood sugar levels, not because you eat too many sweet foods.

Fortunately, preventing periodontal disease can be fairly easy with good oral care.

Dry mouth is another common side effect of diabetes and can be supremely annoying, especially at night. It can also promote tooth decay, as the lack of saliva leaves your teeth unprotected from acids and bacteria, which would otherwise be diluted. A humidifier can help at night, as can cutting out caffeine, alcohol and tobacco in the hours leading up to bedtime. During the day you can sip water or sugarless drinks to keep your mouth from feeling dry.

Hard candy or chewing gum sweetened with xylitol can also decrease dry mouth. Xylitol is a type of carbohydrate that will not be broken down completely by your body, and thus has little to no effect on your blood sugar levels. Xylitol can also decrease plaque on your teeth, meaning better oral health and less risk of periodontal disease. Some studies show that Xylitol actually increases bone density and promotes collagen growth, leading to better jaw and teeth health.

Sugar-free chewing gum is also a good way to promote dental health without increasing blood sugar, and can increase saliva in your mouth as well. Chewing gums containing magnolia bark can also help eliminate bad breath provided the gum is chewed for at least five minutes. Diabetics often have a sharp smell to their breath that is difficult to mask.

Sugar free candy containing licorice root can kill bacteria that causes tooth decay without adversely affecting blood sugar levels. So can certain beverages, such as oolong tea or cranberry juice; reducing acid as well as making it harder for unattached bacteria to stick to plaque already present in your mouth. Cranberry juice should be drunk in very small servings as the natural sugar can cause a spike in your blood sugar levels.

Its also wise for type 2 diabetes to see their dentist regularly… also ask for advice about your dental hygiene so you can minimize any risk of damage. Don’t forget to tell your dentist you have type 2 diabetes.

Dental Health Is Directly Related to Overall Health

The lifestyle which we live has a direct impact on the health of our mouth, teeth and gums. What we eat and drink has a direct effect on our teeth and gums. This is the reason why many dentists will suggest you to drink soft drink using a straw and also to avoid any acidic foods. Today we discuss about how our overall health is interrelated to the health of our gums and teeth.

You maintain your overall health by eating healthy foods and drinks. Foods which are rich in vitamin are considered good for your overall health and also for your dental health. However as we grow we change our eating habits and other day-to-day habits. We start consuming acidic foods which directly impact the enamel and stains our teeth. We start consuming soft drinks which again has a direct effect on our enamel. Apart from the food that we consume, we also feel that doing certain things such as smoking, piercing our lips or tongue and drinking excessive alcohol makes us look cool. However the result is different. Smoking leads to tooth loss, gum disease and many other problems related to dental health. With piercing oral infections become common and also leads to chipped tooth. The effect of piercing does not just stop with these two problems. It might also lead to gum recession which eventually leads to tooth loss.

Sugar is yet again another cause of tooth decay and an important threat to our dental health. Sugar is present in our foods which lead to plaque. This plaque then teams up carbohydrates and leads to the formation of acids. The acid breaks down the enamel and eventually leads to tooth cavities. If the infected tooth is not treated it will lead to tooth cavities becoming deeper resulting in pain and might even lead to tooth loss.

While we are grown up it at times becomes difficult for us to keep a track of what we are eating. Practically we just cannot calculate the amount of sugar present in our food. However there is one thing which is under our control. We can ensure that our mouth is being cleaned regularly as this maintains proper dental health. No matter what you eat and drink you should brush twice in a day followed by flossing. Many of us are not aware that ideally you should brush for two minutes. You will be surprised to know that not many of us last that long while brushing. Apart from brushing and flossing you should visit your dentist twice in a year. This will keep you updated about your dental health and will also help the dentist to detect whether you are suffering from any dental problem or not.

Staying upbeat with your health has a psychic effect as well. A healthy body will always be filled with positive energy and happiness. So it becomes imperative for us to maintain our dental health and healthy body.