Sugar and Tooth Decay

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We all love sugar and it’s lurking in all kinds of processed foods and even healthy foods such as fruit. As well as being high in calories, these sugars cause tooth decay, because they feed harmful oral bacteria which create acids to destroy tooth enamel and cause cavities. The body fights back with saliva and remineralization, but it can’t cope with high levels of sugars over a prolonged period and damage will be done to teeth if you eat too many sugary foods.

Everyone should be cutting down on sugar in their diet, but often you’re not even aware that you’re consuming sugar. Recent research in BMJ Open journal showed that even healthy drinks such as smoothies, fruit drinks and natural juices can have a very high level of sugar, as much as 2.5 teaspoons in a 100ml serving. This is a concern, as people are switching to smoothies and juices to make a healthier choice and not realising how much sugar is in there.

Even no added sugar fruit juices are very high in sugar, and although this is naturally occurring sugar it still causes tooth decay. The American Academy of Paediatrics recommends that children between 1 and 6 years old should have no more than one cup of juice every day, something we believe isn’t very well known.

British researchers looked into a wide range of fruit drinks aimed and children at found that the average sugar content of the 21 pure fruit juices assessed was as high as 10.7 g/100 ml or just over 2 tsps, and in the 24 smoothies, it was up to 13 g/100 ml, or just over 2.5 tsps. Over 40% of all the products, contained 19 g, or around 4 tsps, of free sugars, the maximum daily amount recommended for children. Find out more

These surprising findings show how important it is to check the label if you don’t want to be coming to the dentist too often!

The ideal thing is to cut out sugary treats and keep a careful eye on hidden sugars, but if you can’t live without your sugar fix, then we recommend brushing or chewing sugarless gum after snacks, eating calcium rich foods such as dairy products and using fluoride toothpaste. There are also preventative fluoride treatments which we can give you at the dentist to help stop tooth decay.

If you are feeling any pain or discomfort and think you may be suffering from tooth decay please come and book a visit to the dentist. The earlier something is caught the easier we can treat it and advise you on changing eating habits if we feel it’s necessary.

You can find our dental clinic in Marbella, close to the Palacio de Congresos and the Pirulí (copper tower). We’re looking forward to seeing you!


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MarDenta is a friendly, approachable family
dental practice in Marbella. With NHS
experience and a focus on patient care,
we combine orthodontic expertise with all
round dental treatments for complete care
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