Traditional advice has been that too much sugar causes cavities, however, this simple mantra is not only misleading – it also ignores the impact sugar has on your overall body health.
Candy, cookies, cakes, and any other variety of sugary desserts, even starchy, refined carbohydrates such as chips, bread, pasta, and anything made from white flour breaks down quickly in your body to simple sugars, causing higher dental and health problems. Carbonated soft drinks are an absolute no-no because not only do they contain a high amount of sugar, they also contain phosphorous and carbonation which breaks down the enamel on your teeth.
However, sugar doesn’t just attack the tooth from the outside of your mouth – eating too much sugar attacks the composition of your teeth from the inside as well. Dr. Weston Price was a Canadian dentist who was a pioneer in researching the relationship between nutrition, dental health, and physical health. He studied diverse native diets of natural, unprocessed, and organic foods, with very little sugar except for the occasional bit of honey or maple syrup. He contrasted this with the modern Western diet (particularly flour, sugar, and modern processed vegetable fats). Twenty-five years of research showed that the natural diets promoted healthy oral health while the Western diet did not, and in fact the modern Western diet promoted deformed dental arches crooked teeth, more cavities, and more chronic and degenerative diseases.
The Sugar Industry has long known of the dangers of sugar, but has not been forthcoming about the actual impact it has on your health. When the doors closed at the Great Western Sugar Company in Colorado in 1976, they left 1500 pages of internal documents exposing how the sugar industry used Tobacco-style tactics to dismiss negative healthy claims against their products. Discovered by Dr. Cristin E. Kearns, assistant professor at UCSF School of Dentistry, in 2016, Kearns and her colleagues published a paper in the Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine detailing the Sugar Industry’s decades-long manipulation of the nutritional research of sugar. Kearns also partnered with science journalist and author Gary Taubes to write the expose “Big Sugar’s Sweet Little Lies.” Kearns’ story is told in the Canadian documentary, Sugar Coated, (available on IMDb).
To learn more about how sugar affects your health, check out SugarScience.org.
Big Sugar Buried Evidence to Hide Sugar Harms, Mercola.com, December 6, 2017
Sugar Industry and Coronary Heart Disease Research; Kearns, Schmidt, Glantz, (JAMA Internal Medicine, November 1, 2016).
The Case Against Sugar, Gary Taubes