Australians are now consuming more sugar than ever before and the problem won’t be settling soon, especially with kids from all over the world who are trick or treating this Halloween.
The World Health Organisation recommends a daily sugar consumption equal to five per cent of daily caloric intake (25g or six teaspoons per day) but Australians consume much more. In 2011-12 the Australian Health survey revealed that Australians consumed 60 grams of sugar per day, or 14 full teaspoons. This is not good for our health, or especially our smile.
Sugar is one of the primary causes of tooth decay in Australia and the world.
This is because cavity causing bacteria are fuelled primarily from sugars including sucrose (table sugar), glucose, fructose, lactose and cooked starches. Some confectioneries such as cakes and muffins reach 81% sugar content. Candies are even worse containing up to 93% sugar. Even foods we typically think of as healthy can be sources of sugar such as breakfast cereals and sauces.
By becoming more aware of our sugar intake we can help control not only tooth decay, but other serious health risks including obesity, diabetes and heart disease.
If these bacteria’s are allowed to thrive in the mouth they eventually bore all the way through teeth enamel into the deeper layers of the teeth causing tooth decay.
What are the symptoms of tooth decay?
Tooth decay usually doesn’t cause symptoms until you have a cavity or an infected tooth. When this happens, you may have:
– A toothache
– Swelling in your gums near a sore tooth
– Bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth
– White, gray, brown, or black spots on your teeth
How is tooth decay diagnosed?
To diagnose tooth decay, your dentist will firstly ask you questions about your past dental and medical problems and care. They will then:
Check your teeth, using a pointed tool and a small mirror.
Take X-rays of your teeth and mouth to find tooth decay that can’t be seen with the eyes.
If you have noticed any of the symptoms of tooth decay or are concerned about sugar damage, make an appointment with your dentist today,