The Sugar Secret: What’s it Doing to You?

At Marineland Dental Care it seems like we’re always telling patients the same thing: eat less sugar! You’ve probably been hearing anti-sugar arguments your entire life starting with your parents and continuing on until you’re just sick of it! How bad can sugar be, anyways?

The truth isn’t surprising, at least if you’ve been heeding those warnings: sugar is bad for you! It’s the snack of choice for the bacteria that live in your mouth, and when they feast they produce tooth-destroying acids that cause tooth decay, gum disease, and a whole bunch of other dental problems!

But your teeth aren’t the only part of your body that suffer from the sugar onslaught. Sugar is one of the “bad carbs” that do all sorts of horrible things to your body! We want to take a slight detour from our usual dental care discussion today to really dig into the problems that sugar can present to your teeth and your whole body!

How Much Sugar Do You Eat?

Quick question: what’s the American Heart Association’s recommended daily intake of sugar? Only nine teaspoons.

Another quick question: how much sugar does the average American adult consume in one day? Over 20.

That’s right: the average person you know is consuming over twice the recommended allowance of added sugar. That doesn’t even account for sugars that occur naturally in the foods you eat. Some foods have sugar added that don’t even seem like they should: bagels, store-bought bread, even ketchup! There’s a good possibility you’re consuming far more sugar than you should and it could be having a very real affect on your health!

What Does Sugar Do To Your Body?

There are two main kinds of sugar that make up the stuff you get in your food: glucose and fructose. We already spoke briefly about the problems presented by bacteria in your mouth: they eat sugar and produce acids that destroy your teeth. Once sugar passes into the rest of your body problems continue!

Glucose is the type of sugar that creates energy for your body. It’s found primarily in things like grains and starches and of the two types it is definitely better! Excess amounts are still converted to fat, so you still need to watch out for excess glucose consumption!

Fructose is the sort of sugar you don’t want to eat. Unfortunately it’s also sweeter and is used in all the treats you probably love: candy, soda, cookies, and things like that are where you get your fructose from. Fructose isn’t used to create energy in the same way glucose is. Instead it goes straight to your liver to be turned into fat. Excess glucose takes the same path, so by consuming fructose you’re basically getting all the fat gain without any of the energy benefit!

Fructose also has a tendency to enter the bloodstream and cause all sorts of health problems, like type-2 diabetes and heart disease. In short, you should definitely limit your fructose intake!

When excess sugar builds up in your body it doesn’t just cause weight gain. There are several diseases linked to excess sugar consumption, such as:

  • inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis
  • heart disease
  • type-2 diabetes
  • hypoglycemia
  • high blood pressure
  • alzheimer’s disease
  • cancer

You don’t just need to watch your waistline and teeth for signs of sugar-related diseases – you need to watch your whole body! Do yourself a favor and cut down on your sugar intake. If you’re anywhere near the 20 teaspoons a day that most Americans are you’re risking serious long-term harm to your health!

Protect Yourself and Your Teeth!

If you’re worried that your smile might already be paying the price for your sweet tooth then don’t spend one more day worried about cavities! Call our Kennewick dentist office today at 509-591-0515! You can also request an appointment right here on our site by filling out our online form! We look forward to seeing you soon!

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