Monthly Archives: October 2015

The Effects of Sugar on our Dental Health read more

The British Dental Health Organisation (BDHF) is fully supporting proposals made by chef Jamie Oliver in his campaign against excess sugar. As part of his new documentary “Jamies Sugar Rush” is taking an in depth study of the devastating effects that sugar is having on our dental health and particularly in children.

Around half of 8 year olds have dental decay which means they are likely to have decay in their adult teeth. Tooth decay is the number one reason for hospitalisation in children and while we cannot blame the food and drink industry entirely, they do have to take a sizable portion of the blame.

What Does Sugar Do to Our Teeth?

Every time we consume sugar, the bacteria which sticks to the teeth surface converts it into acid. This gradually eats away at the enamel, eventually forming a hole or cavity. The length of the acid attack will depend on how much saliva is in your mouth and how long the sugary food stays on your teeth. Early tooth decay can have no symptoms but your dentist should spot a cavity in its early stages on examination of your teeth.

Can we enjoy sweet foods and still keep our teeth?

Let’s be realistic. Sugary foods are part of everyday lives and it is highly unlikely that we will just stop consuming sugary products. Many fizzy drinks contain over 12 spoonful of sugar and really should be avoided. Many food producers are using sugar to enhance food taste which is what Jamie Oliver is campaigning against. His manifesto which is endorsed by the BDHF is proposing a 20p levy per litre on every soft drink with added sugar, a ban of junk food marketing and showing sugar content in teaspoons on front of packaging.

A strict regime of regular tooth brushing (first thing and last thing at night) using a fluoride toothpaste and mouth wash if you have lots of fillings.

Tips to reduce tooth decay

  • Cut down on the frequency of sugary snacks, its frequency rather than quantity that causes decay.
  • It is best to consume sugary food after a meal as saliva defence is good which minimises the duration of acid attack.
  • Sugar Free Gum chewed after sugary food boosts saliva in the mouth.
  • Always try and choose the sugar free option where possible.

For further advice or help please call The Mayhill Dental Centre on 01600 712020 or email info@themayhill.co.uk