In the United States today, consumption of sugar is one of the major health concerns of the medical community. While it is becoming clear that a high consumption of sugar can lead to health effects such a type 2 diabetes and other obesity related health issues, there is also cause for concern when it comes to the dental community. For many years now, dentists have been trying to get the word out to their patients about the link or correlation between tooth decay and sugar intake. As the amount of sugar consumption has increased around the country over the last decade, so has the rate of tooth decay and all the accompanying problems that arise from that. Tooth decay causes all types of diseases and infections, and many of them are hard to treat and difficult to reverse.
When sugar mixes with oral bacteria, it results in tooth decay. The sugar can come from any source, a drink or a food or a treat. Regardless of the form the sugar takes when it enters the mouth, it will still mix with the oral bacteria and cause tooth decay to begin. Over the years, as the decay continues and is not addressed, it will begin to cause other diseases and infections that can have a severe and negative impact on the oral health as well as the bodily health. Cavities in the tooth are created through the tooth decay that is caused by the sugar intake, and it has been scientifically proven that if the sugar intake is lowered then the rates of cavities will lower as well. But as the sugar intake increases, so too does the rate of cavities. When the cavity begins to form, it creates an opening that will hold and host bacteria. The bacteria can cause all manner of problems, from a smelly infection to a more serious gum disease. If the teeth are kept strong and free from cavities, then this can all be avoided. But with the introduction of sugar into the diet and into the mouth, the cavities must be dealt with immediately in order to prevent further problems and decay. If the cavity is filled and the sugar intake is lowered, there is little cause for ongoing concern. But when the cavity is left unattended to, this is when the problems begin to develop and become much more severe.
The addition of fluoride into the city water can be a great help in stemming this process of tooth decay, however only a small amount of fluoride must be introduced as an over use of this can actually cause much more damage to the teeth than the sugar. There is a fine balance that must be attained with the use of fluoride to counter the negative and harmful effects of increase sugar intake. The best solution is to reduce or eliminate the intake of sugar in the diet. While this may be unlikely, the introduction of small amounts of fluoride can be very helpful to counter the sugar toxicity.