The Consequences of Sugar Consumption Go Way Beyond Your Teeth
The consequences of sugar go well beyond your teeth, but let’s start with your there because the health of your mouth is an important part of overall wellness.
Do you have dental anxiety when you overeat sweets? Sugar is a popular topic in the health and wellness industry. This article will help you create a balalnced approach to eating sweets and avoid the consequences of excessive sugar intake.
Bacteria That Feeds on Sugar
We all know sugar is damaging to our teeth and dental health. But did you know it’s not the sugar that actually attacks our enamel? There is a chain of events that occur after you eat that row of Oreos or drink that liter of Mountain Dew! Our mouths are full of bacteria — some healthy, some harmful.
There are bacteria that actually like to feed on sugar. When this occurs, acid is created and that acid is what destroys the enamel (shiny outer layer) of the tooth. Decay will progress into deep layers of the tooth, often causing severe pain and sometimes loss of the tooth itself, so don’t ever ignore tooth pain! It’s extremely important to see your general dentist regularly in addition to learning proper dental hygiene practices at home.
Inflammation From High Sugary Diets
If the risk of losing your teeth isn’t enough to motivate moderating your sugar intake, read on. Sugar is inflammatory and can lead to disease and illness. Inflammation can be linked to obesity, diabetes, liver disease, high blood pressure, heart disease, arthritis, asthma, allergies, depression, oral cancer/strong>, and autoimmune disease.
When we eat higher levels of sugar, found in processed foods and beverages, our pancreas is pushed into overdrive, creating an excess of insulin production which often leads to an inflammatory response.
Weight Gain and Hormones
Most of us who want to lose weight, count calories are taken in and track calories burned through exercise. The latest research shows that although ‘calories in’ vs ‘calories out’ is important, so is WHAT we consume and HOW MUCH.
So let’s get back to the topic of insulin. We now know when we eat sugar, more insulin is released. But, did you know that increased insulin gives you an increase in Grhelin, the “I am hungry” hormone? AND leptin, the “I am full” hormone goes down, so now we know, the more sugar we eat, the hungrier we get, so we eat more and gain weight!
Also, when you eat excess carbohydrates, your body uses them for energy immediately which promotes fat storage.
How High-sugar Foods Impact your Energy
Does your energy level feel a bit like a roller coaster when you eat sugar-laden foods? After a high carb meal, those fluctuations in hormones can cause you to feel sluggish, weak, fatigued, foggy, irritable and even affect your concentration! Eating the right snacks is a form of preventative dentistry.
Protect your Teeth by Identifying Hidden Sugars
Sugars are hidden in so many foods we eat on a regular basis. Peanut butter, crackers, ketchup, juices, salad dressings…anything processed, the list goes on and on. Sticking to real, fresh foods without an ingredient list is the easiest way to eliminate added sugars and protect your teeth, but sometimes this is not always possible. Take the time to read labels and learn to identify other names that are synonymous with sugar. Check out this article, Different Words for Sugar on Food Labels. You will be amazed at the many terms there are for sugar!
Tools for Sugar Cravings
Reducing or eliminating sugar isn’t too dissimilar to kicking the cigarette habit. Sugar can be highly addictive. Some people try sugar elimination diets, suffer the first week, but then do pretty well. Although I don’t promote any kind of highly restrictive diets, some people find value in this, especially if they are trying to improve certain health issues. For others, slowly decreasing their intake is a better way to go. Check out my article on Cracking the Sugar Habit for great, effective tips.
What about artificial sweeteners? This is definitely a topic up for debate so I spent a long time trying to decipher the research and come up with the healthiest sweetener solutions. There are safe, healthier alternatives to sugar so I encourage you to check out my blog post on which sweeteners are best.
Help from a professional for the Consequences of Excessive Sugar Intake
Who knew those little white crystals could cause so much havoc! Follow your dentist’s advice to take care of your teeth and your entire body by being more mindful about what you are putting in your mouth! For many that are not easy tasks. Your children need to learn from you what they need to do to protect their teeth. As well, we are happy to give your children dental tips when they visit our office.
I know so many people who say, “I know what I have to do.” The question is why you aren’t doing it. It is no walk of shame to bring in a professional to help identify roadblocks, set goals and create strategies to slowly make changes that will positively affect you for a lifetime. Create oral hygiene habits that pay off and save your dental costs.
Our guest, blogger is Susan Jensen, founder of Swan Fitness and Health Coaching. She is a certified Health Coach and Personal Trainer. She specializes in weight loss, pain management, and menopausal women. She also has the ability to formulate professional, personalized exercise programs which are included in her packages. For more information about Susan and her company visit her website at swanfitcoach.com or email her at [email protected]