The modern, American diet has seen an increasing amount of added sugars in recent years, showing up in a variety of processed foods and beverages- even those that are not considered “sweet”!
This steady increase in sugar consumption can often lead to health problems:
- Oral health problems: left untreated, tooth decay can lead to gum disease and even tooth loss
- Physical health problems: such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, nutrition deficits.
With a single can of soda typically containing over 130 calories – or 8 teaspoons- of sugar, it is easy to exceed the American Heart Association daily recommended allowances of sugar! Added sugars are ingrained in our diet of processed food, making it difficult for patients to monitor their daily intake. Our fast paced daily lives make it easy for us to become overly dependent on these processed sugars as a source of quick energy, but they are empty calories and can be the cause of long term health issues when consumed in excess.
Reducing and limiting added sugars is important for both oral and overall health and minor dietary changes can help. Here are some tips:
- skip a soda for a glass of water
- instead of a sugary snack like cookies, choose fruit, nuts or yogurt
- cut down the amount of sugar used in recipes for baked goods
- reduce the amount of sugar added to coffee or tea
Recent studies have shown the connection between oral health and overall physical well being, reinforcing the importance of regular dental visits for cleanings and exams. During routine exams, the dentists at Vassey Dental Partners can not only address dental problems in their early stages, but can spot changes in a patient’s oral health that may indicate a more complex physical health problem is developing.
Dr. Konwick and the staff at Vassey Dental Partners take the time with their dental patients to discuss their oral health concerns as well as recommend effective at home oral hygiene to help maintain oral health between visits.