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What Is Sugar Really Doing To You?

At Anderson Dental Care our entire team is dedicated to fighting for the health of your teeth. The number one threat to your oral health is, and always has been, tooth decay. It can be hard to deal with the constant threat of plaque acids assaulting your teeth, but there are some things you can do to prevent it! Preventing decay is done through a combination of things, and one of the most important is limiting your sugar intake!

But today we don’t just want to focus in on your oral health. We want to talk about sugar not as a tooth killer but as a substance that can endanger the health of your whole body. You probably understand that too much sugar is bad for you, but do you really know what sugar is doing to your body?

How Much Sugar Do You Eat?

A cleaning and exam can definitely take care of threats to your oral health, but eating sugar has a lot of effects on the rest of your body too! We aren’t saying you should eliminate sugar from your diet but limiting your intake is definitely a good step to take. After all too much of a good thing is usually pretty bad!

The average American eats almost 20 teaspoons of added sugar a day. Since it’s added that doesn’t even include natural sugars in things like fruit and other foods! The scariest part is that in a month that adds up to over five pounds of sugar! That’s a lot!

We’d love to tell you how much sugar you should eat in a day, but nutritional guidelines from around the world leave it out of their daily requirements. With that in mind it’s easy to think how much sugar you should eat in a day: as little as possible!

Excess sugar consumption is tied to a variety of health problems from Type 2 Diabetes to heart disease, and it doesn’t take much to enter the danger zone. In fact, studies show that women who drank more than one can of soda a day were 63 percent more likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis than those who drank soda as an occasional treat. It might not seem like that sweet treat is dangerous but it can quickly affect your overall health!

What Can Sugar Do?

We all know a diet rich in sweets can cause you to gain weight, but why? And how else does sugar mess with your body? A lot of it has to do with how your body metabolizes sugar and what happens to the leftovers.

Eating sugar starts a process that breaks it down into fructose and glucose. Your body treats sugar as both a carbohydrate and a fat, with fructose going straight to the liver to be turned into fat and the glucose being used for short-term energy. Unfortunately most of the glucose is also turned into fat, making sugar just one big fat-producing compound!

A sharp rise in blood sugar due to a sweet snack (or too many sweet snacks in this case) is also a major factor in inflammation throughout your body. This is part of the reason that diabetics are a such a high risk for Alzheimer’s, and it’s also part of the reason sugar is so bad for your teeth!

Gum disease is an inflammation of your gum tissue due to the presence of bacteria irritating your gums, and guess what? People suffering from gum disease are at increased risk for heart disease and conditions like Diabetes! It’s a two-way street: too much sugar causes inflammation and too much inflammation of the gums can cause inflammatory diseases!

What Can You Do?

The most important thing to take away from this isn’t that sugar is the enemy. It’s a fine treat in moderation so don’t worry about the occasional snack – worry about eating a bunch of sweets at once! You should also be sure you’re taking care of your teeth and gums by brushing, flossing, and seeing us at our Cincinnati dentist office for regular cleanings and exams!

If you’re concerned that sugar has already damaged your teeth then don’t wait: call Anderson Dental Care today at (513) 231-7755! You can also request an appointment by filling out our online form. We look forward to helping you stay mouth and body healthy!