Dental Blog

The Less-Than-Sweet Side of Sugar

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Sugar plays a major role in many Americans diets, but it’s also a dangerously unhealthy ingredient. New research shows that sugar may be more addictive than the drug cocaine. Americans also consume more sugar now then ever before, because processed foods tend to be loaded with it.

Eating too much sugar can damage your teeth by causing cavities, but it can also lead to host of other diseases such as hypertension, Type 2 diabetes, obesity, kidney disease, and may contribute to cardiovascular disease.

The reason we have such a sugar addiction is because it stimulates the pleasure and reward center of our brains by releasing a neurotransmitter called dopamine. (That’s why munching a cupcake instantly brings smile to our face). Unfortunately, the more sugar you eat, the more your brain will become desensitized, leading to a tolerance.

If you feel that you may have developed a bit of a sugar dependence, the good news is that there are ways to break the addiction! One great way is to re-set your brain, by cutting out all sugar for a couple of weeks. During this time, try developing ways to handle sugar cravings. When you feel like all you need in the world is just a one brownie, try a piece of sugar-free gum instead. If that doesn’t work, try a diversion, like taking a walk or calling a friend.

Cravings can be intensified by lack of sleep and stress. Be sure that you’re getting enough sleep and releasing stress in healthy ways Try eating a piece of fruit if the craving just won’t go away. The water in fruit dilutes the sugars, so it’s less harmful on teeth and way more healthy than candy.

Cutting back on your sugar consumption can help keep you and your teeth healthier in the long run.

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