Artificial sweeteners and your oral health: what your dentist thinks
As we all know by now, consuming lots of sugar can lead to a whole host of health problems including diabetes, heart disease, obesity and dental decay. Sugary drinks are one of the biggest problems when it comes to over consumption and for this reason it’s very common for people to be opting for alternatives to their favourite sugar filled soda. However, what sweetens these alternative beverages needs to be monitored and it’s really important that patients have the full story before switching to artificial sweeteners as they too can affect your teeth, health and gut microbiome. Here our dentist in Chislehurst at Jes Dental Studio looks at the reasons why.
A closer look at sugar and your teeth
It’s been widely reported through various studies that sugar is the most cariogenic of all carbohydrates, this means that it is the most likely to cause tooth decay. The bacteria that occurs naturally in our mouths naturally breaks down sugar to acids. It’s the combination of these acids, bacteria and saliva that combine to make plaque, which is the yellow sticky substance you often find lurking at your gum line our dentist in Chislehurst doesn’t like to see.
Sugar and artificial sweeteners: what’s the difference?
Artificial sweeteners are pretty straightforward in design in that they’re placed inside a product in order to add a sweetness to it without adding calories. They are by design far sweeter than natural sugars, in fact it’s been reported that they are 300 times sweeter.
Yes, if you’re looking to reduce calorie intake then switching from full fat to diet is going to save you some numbers, but we would argue that trying to remove the drink all together could well be the better option for a number of reasons.
How artificial sweeteners affect your teeth
Though the investigations into artificial sweeteners and decay are positive, in that they don’t cause it. Artificial sweeteners could have detrimental effects to other areas of your health.
Research is being done all the time and in recent years a focus on our gut microbiome has been pushed by scientists.
What is the gut microbiome?
The gut microbiome is a tribe of over a trillion microorganisms and their genetic material that live inside our intestines. A leading scientist in the field said that the content of the microbiome weighs the equivalent of our brains! These tiny little bacteria are very important to our health and more and more research is coming out to support claims that our gut health could be the reason why some people develop cancer, heart disease and even suffer from obesity. Now none of this has been proven 100% and the science is growing all the time, but if there’s even a chance that consuming artificial sweeteners could cause you serious long-term health issues, is it worth the risk?
What can be done?
Sugar is addictive and so going cold turkey is going to be very tough for anyone, but taking responsibility for your health is very important. Drinks containing sugar or artificial sugars can be completely removed from your diet and we at Jes Dental Studio want to help patients be as healthy as possible. For more help with creating a balanced diet head over to the NHS website.
When was the last time you saw our dentist in Chislehurst ? If it was over six months ago then it’s time to pay our practice another visit.