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The Rot on Sugar and Tooth Decay

Written by Daniel Roytas, MHSc (Nutrition), BHSc (Naturopathy), Dip. RM, MANTA

Dental carries are one of the most prevalent non-communicable chronic diseases in the world. Refined and processed foods that contain a high level of free sugars, that are either present naturally or added to foods, pose the greatest risk in the development of carries1. The most common types of sugars implicated in the development of carries include monosaccharides (glucose, galactose, fructose) and disaccharides (sucrose, maltose, lactose). The current evidence suggests that the development of dental carries is reduced when the consumption of free sugars is less than 10% of the total dietary energy intake1. It should be noted that dental carries are not eliminated with a reduced free sugar intake below 10%, suggesting that even small amounts of sugar are harmful to our oral health1.

Dental carries are said to develop when sugars come in to contact with oral bacteria. When bacteria metabolises or ferments...

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