Could dental cavities be a predictor of future health problems? A book by Canadian dentist Milan Somborac, DDS says they might be. (1) Dr. Somborac thinks that the same refined carbohydrates that cause tooth decay might lead to other disorders (including diabetes, heart disease, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, and diverticulitis) 2 to 4 decades later in your life.
Usually refining means making something more pure or improving it. In the case of carbohydrates, refining diminishes them and makes them worse for us. The most common dietary carbohydrates are added sugars (usually words ending in the letters –ose) and white flour.
Our modern diets far exceed the 6 teaspoons per day (for women) to 9 teaspoons per day (for men) of sugar recommended by the American Heart Association. Historically, there are few examples of tooth decay in pre-agricultural societies. The first evidences of dental decay occur in the same areas where the first agricultural societies began.
We all have bacteria in our mouths (even dentists!). Some of these bacteria feed on carbohydrates (mostly sugars) that we put into our mouths. Just like us, when bacteria eat, they put out a waste product. The bacterial waste product is an acid that can break down the hard outer covering (enamel) of our teeth. A process we recognize as decay or cavities. Dr. Somborac feels that by changing our diets, we can reduce both the chances of dental cavities as well as improving our overall health. Stay tuned for future articles that will continue to discuss this concept.
- Somborac, DDS, Milan, Your Mouth, Your Health: Good Carbs, Bad Carbs, and the Mouth-Body Connection 2nd edition, 2016, Biomed General
Note: Information in this article is not intended to replace the clinical judgment of your health care professionals.
Dr. Jennifer Robb is a general dentist who sees both adults and children in her dental practice.
1612 Cooper Foster Park Rd.
Lorain, OH 44053