The 4th of July may be right around the corner, but we can still benefit from those old colonial ties while we celebrate our independence: in Britain, the Faculty of General Dental Practice (FGEP) has teamed up with Public Health England (PHE) to address their country’s sugar intake.
Recently, the FGEP released a report confirming what countless studies have already shown, that sugar intake has a major role in health problems like obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. And of course, sugar intake is one of the leading causes of oral health problems— like dental caries (cavities) and periodontitis (gum disease).
Sugar and your teeth
The problem with sugar is that when oral bacteria eat it (because it’s in your mouth), they release an acid which eats at your enamel and causes cavities. The link between sugar consumption and tooth decay was illuminated once again earlier this year after an exhaustive review of 60 years of studies headed by the World Health Organization, re-confirming a direct relationship between sugar consumption and tooth decay.
The biggest culprit may well be sugary drinks– soft drinks, sweetened teas, energy drinks, or “vitamin” drinks (with high fructose corn syrup.) When sipped daily, these drinks provide a constant supply of sugar to feed hungry oral bacteria, and they never give your natural defenses– saliva– a chance to fight bacteria off.
Those Red Coats have a pretty good idea…
In the UK, multiple organizations including the FGEP and PHE have teamed up to form Action Against Sugar— a group aimed at reducing the effect of sugar impacts on health in Great Britain. Chief among the groups’ many goals are to see sugar’s percentage of total energy intake dropping to 5 percent, and working with food and drink manufacturers to reduce added sugar in their products. Not only will reduced sugars improve oral health, but overall health as well.
Happy Fourth of July!
At Murray Scholls Family Dental, we love to see this kind of progress in community health. And even though we may be celebrating our independence from Britain, we want to give credit where credit is due: this is a great idea, Britain!
From all of us at Murray Scholls Family Dental, the best cosmetic dentist Beaverton has, Happy Fourth of July! We wish you and your family a fun, safe, holiday, and look forward to seeing you at your next visit.