Does Sugar in Food Cause Gum Disease?

People who consume more sweets and soda have a higher risk of periodontal disease, which is linked to chronic inflammation, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.

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Researchers analyzed data on roughly 2,400 young adults who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Those who consumed sugary foods like cakes, cookies, ice cream, chocolate candy, and soft drinks most often (at least five times a week) had a 73 percent higher risk of having periodontal disease in at least two teeth than those who never ate those foods.

There was no link with white bread, white rice, or other refined carbs.

What to do: This study suggests, but doesn’t prove, that sugars cause periodontal disease. But there are plenty of other reasons to eat (and drink) less sugar.

Source: Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 100: 1182, 2014.

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