It has been a little over 20 years since the World Health Organization (WHO) came out with the statistic that the amount of free sugars taken in by the body should be less than 10% of the total caloric intake, with free sugars defined as sugars that have been added to foods by the one preparing the food or it can be sugars that are naturally present in foods, including in honey, syrups, and fruit juices.
WHO decided to put this statistic to the test and commissioned Newcastle University to do research on whether cutting down on these free sugars to only 10% of total calories can result in lower levels of tooth decay. Newcastle University’s results were published in the Journal of Dental Research, revealing that… when individuals kept their free sugar intake less than 10% of their total caloric intake, there were indeed much fewer instances of tooth decay. What’s more is that the research findings also suggest that when individuals cut down sugar intake to only holding 5% of caloric intake, individuals would reap further benefits, decreasing risk of cavities throughout their life.
Researchers at Newcastle University explain that much of the research done in the past to determine recommended level of free sugars were primarily based on levels related to decayed teeth in 12 year olds. However, it is no secret that tooth decay is a progressive disease, which cannot be accurately determined based solely on the state of teeth during a specific time period of an individual’s life. When patterns of tooth decay in populations over time were analyzed, research shows that children that had less than three cavities at the age of 12 can actually go on to develop high number of cavities as adults.
This increase of tooth decay can be attributed to the increase in the amount of sugar intake in industrialized countries. Sugar in the past may have only been an occasional treat, but now this is simply not the case. Sugary foods and beverages are now considered staples in many people’s diet. Professor Moynihan, the professor of nutrition and oral health at Newcastle University, explain that while fluoride is can act as a protectant against tooth decay, it can not completely eliminate tooth decay. With increased sugar intake, teeth still remain susceptible to cavities even with the help fluoride in water and toothpaste.
Join WHO’s global initiative in cutting down sweets. Limiting sugar intake not only reaps dental benefits but it indubitably is beneficial for overall health. If you have any more questions, feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts or concerns; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or firstname.lastname@example.org to set up an appointment and consultation.