As an emergency dentist in Joondalup, I can say without hesitation or doubt that a majority of preventable dental problems are caused by excessive consumption of sugar. Recently, the University of Sydney conducted a study indicating that it is even worse than the most pessimistic dentists thought it was.
More than half of the Australians in the study consume more than 10% of their daily energy from added sugars, sugars in fruit juice, honey or syrups. 10% is the maximum recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). The sources of sugar mentioned above are defined by the WHO as “no sugars.”
In adolescents, the numbers are far worse. For those aged 9-13, 76.2% exceeded the WHO maximum sugar intake on a daily basis. From ages 14-18, the number was 75.9%. The data was compiled from more than 8,000 subjects and was collected in 2011-2012 during the most recent Australian Health Survey.
The survey was conducted by Dr Timothy Gill, Professor of Public Health Nutrition. Professor Gill noted that teens, especially males, drink large amounts of sugary drinks. These drinks not only contain sugar but serve as energetic “replacements” for vegetables and other healthy foods. This not only attacks teeth but can slow physical development and lead to conditions such as obesity, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
The survey participants were asked to recall everything they had eaten or drunk in the previous 24 hours. Professor Gill noted that most of the sugar was coming from snacks and not previously criticised foods such as cereal, yoghurt or bread.
We offer emergency dental care but we would much rather see you receive your care during the comfort of regular appointments. There are three pillars of effective oral hygiene: effective brushing, regular visits to the dentist and avoiding sugary snacks and beverages. It’s really that easy.
If you can do those three things, you should enjoy a lifetime of great dental health and a smile you can be proud of.
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, we encourage you to discuss these matters with an appropriately qualified health practitioner.