World Diabetes Day 2014

World Diabetes Day

It’s World Diabetes Day. In this article we’ll be briefly looking at the role sugar has in contributing to the development of Type 2 Diabetes. As your dental team, it will be of no surprise to you that we are always concerned to hear about overconsumption of sugar- it certainly has the potential to damage teeth, but it also has a potential role in the development of some very serious systemic health problems as well.

The Role Of Sugar In Developing Diabetes

One of the most commonly held beliefs about Diabetes is that it is caused by eating too much sugar. You may be surprised to know that this may not always be true. Type 1 Diabetes is caused by genetics and other unknown factors. Type 2 Diabetes, meanwhile, is also caused by genetics and lifestyle factors such as being overweight.

But that is not to say that sugar has no role in contributing to one’s risk of developing Diabetes. Remember that sugary foods are high in calories, and that excessive calorie consumption can lead to being overweight.

Avoiding sugar is not just a good tactic to help manage your weight (thereby reducing your risk of developing diabetes), but doing so will also benefit your oral health.

The Role Of Sugar In Developing Tooth Decay

Sugar consumption is the number one cause of tooth decay—tooth decay being the most common non-communicable disease in the world. In Australia, tooth decay is unfortunately ranked as the most prevalent health condition – horrifying when tooth decay is almost entirely preventable! The Australian Dental Association estimates there are “over 19 million decayed teeth in Australia and predicts 11 million additional decayed teeth each year“.

With added sugar finding its way into many foods, it is important to manage your intake and monitor that of your children as well. In the UK, dental experts have called for a radical rethinking on sugar consumption, explicitly stating that fruit juices, one of the most common sources of sugar in a child’s diet, should no longer be promoted as foods to include in a child’s healthy diet.

One step to monitor how much sugar you are getting is by reading the label of food products. Read about the many forms of sugar here.