A Word from Dr. Stewart: Faux Sugars

Posted on January 25, 2012. Filed under: General Dentistry, Oral Health, Smile Savers Dentistry | Tags: , , |

It is commonly thought that all dentists hate sugar, and I can see why. Sugar gives the bacteria in your mouth something to use for energy and causes acids to form and then tooth decay happens. But … there is something more insidious than sugar and that is “diet” sugars.

I have been reading and researching about these “sugars” and am scared to learn that these are not sugars at all, but chemicals that taste sweet. Some of these sweeteners have even been linked to such things as rat poison and insecticides. In fact, there are studies showing that a commonly used artificial sugar at 87 degrees breaks down into a poisonous alcohol and then into formaldehyde in your body, which is what is used for embalming solution!

Besides being poisonous, these “sugars,” which have no calories, still act like natural sugar and raise your blood sugar levels and cause your pancreas to make insulin … which makes you crave more sugar. And in the mouth, they have the same effects as natural sugar.

So what to do? There are a few naturally occurring sweeteners that do not raise your blood glucose and are actually non-toxic. They are agave nectar and a plant known as stevia. As for their taste, try it and see.

If you have additional questions about “diet” sugars, contact Smile Savers Dentistry near Ellicott City for more information.

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