What High Fructose Corn Syrup Does When in Contact with Your Teeth
Posted on 5/10/2021 by Dr. Burnham
You probably already know that high fructose corn syrup is an unhealthy sweetener found in many processed foods, candies, and beverages. Some people claim that high fructose corn syrup is the worst type of sweetener for your overall health, while others argue that your body treats all types of sugars equally – even the natural sugar found in fruit. When it comes to your oral health, high fructose corn syrup may have a slightly different effect than other sugars. Keep reading to learn more.
High Fructose Corn Syrup Versus Other Sugars
The main difference between high fructose corn syrup and other sweeteners is the intense effect it has on your body's blood sugar levels. High fructose corn syrup causes drastic spikes in blood sugar, which is why this sweetener has been strongly linked to obesity and diabetes. What does this mean for your teeth, though?
When your blood sugar spikes (like when you consume high fructose corn syrup), your body pulls minerals from your teeth and bones in an attempt to maintain balance in your body. This makes your teeth weaker and more vulnerable to cavities and decay. Plus, high blood sugar levels can also mean low blood supply to your gums, which increases your risk of developing gum disease. In fact, there is a significant link between diabetes and gum disease.
Is All Sugar Bad For Your Teeth?
Regardless of whether you are consuming high fructose corn syrup or a less processed type of sugar such as pure fructose or sucrose, all sugar is harmful to your oral health. Sugar lingers on your teeth and attracts bacteria. Bacteria feed on sugar, form a sticky film called plaque, and produce acid that erodes your enamel and leaves you susceptible to cavities, tooth decay, heightened sensitivity, and gum disease. Following good oral hygiene practices and visiting us for regular checkups are the best ways to prevent these oral health issues, but you should also pay attention to the type and amount of sugar in your diet. While high fructose corn syrup causes intense fluctuations in blood sugar levels and is usually found in foods and drinks with no nutritional value, there are other sweet treats (such as berries and dark chocolate) that are lower in sugar and offer some benefits to your oral and overall health. Contact us for more information and suggestions.
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