Remove Sugar From Your Diet For Your Health & Your Smile!

Posted on Mar 20, 2018 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

An interview on the March 19th ‘CBS This Morning’ was of Dr. Mark Hyman, a nutritionist and Director of Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Functional Medicine. Dr. Hyman was there to discuss his recently authored book “Food: What The Heck Should I Eat.” (

Simple carbs break down as sugar in the mouth.

Over the years, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has left Americans confused about what really IS good for the human body and what is not. Dr. Hyman’s book debunks many FDA dietary guidelines, such as milk being healthy and fats and cholesterol being unhealthy.

He also discussed how food is not just an energy source but serves as a ‘medicine’ that sends signals to our body. According to Dr. Hyman:

“We now know that food is information – it’s instructions that literally change your gene expression, regulate your hormones, can affect your immune system,  inflammation in your body, even affects your gut’s microbiomes. Every bite of food you take is really like instructions to control your operating system of your biology.”

However, one food he emphasized had to do with the harm of sugar.

“Sugar is the biggest driver of obesity, type-2 diabetes, cancer, heart disease, even dementia — they’re calling it type-3 diabetes. And it’s not fat, it turns out. And that’s why we got the whole story wrong.”

Of course, the harmful effects of sugar are nothing new. While Dr. Hyman adds the ill-effects of pasta, rice and bread to the list of foods to eliminate from the pantry, sugar is noted as the first item listed in his book’s 10-day cleanse.



When it comes to your smile, sugar has always been a no-no. In one report published by the U.S. National Library of Medicine/National Institutes of Health (, sugar is specifically noted to lower the natural pH levels in saliva and points out that “the resultant action is the beginning of tooth demineralization.” (Think of demineralization as the process of dissolving enamel and tooth structures.)

The entry point for any food or beverage is the mouth. Oral tissues are moist by nature and highly absorbent. Therefore, it makes perfect sense that the destructive nature of sugar can trigger an imbalance in the mouth. And, it’s not just a risk of cavities that sugar poses.

Research has found that people with diabetes are more likely to have periodontal (gum) disease than people without diabetes. In fact, periodontal disease is often considered a complication of diabetes. Diabetics who don’t have their diabetes under control are especially at risk.

Research shared by the American Academy of Periodontology suggests that the relationship between diabetes and periodontal disease goes both ways – periodontal disease may make it more difficult for people who have diabetes to control their blood sugar.

Severe periodontal disease can increase blood sugar, contributing to increased periods of time when the body functions with a high blood sugar. This puts people with diabetes at increased risk for diabetic complications. (

Both diabetes and gum disease are inflammatory by nature. According to research, one seems to be able to trigger the other. However, research also shows that when glucose levels are controlled, the severity of gum disease wanes. By the same token, when gum disease is treated, blood sugar levels improve. (

The health of your teeth and gums is important to your overall health. Just as you avoid taking drugs to prevent harming your body, you should know that the addictive nature of sugar is harmful to your body, with the mouth getting the initial blow.

For the good of your body, be good to your smile! Start by lowering your intake of sugar and then, gradually, omit it from your diet – in all forms. Read labels. Although catsup and BBQ sauce are known to be laden with sugar (often in the form of corn syrup), I was surprised to see that even Lemon Pepper contains sugar.

Remember, too, that the inflammatory triggers that occur from oral bacteria of gum disease have been associated with a long list of serious health problems. Good overall health begins with a healthy mouth.

If you’ve been remiss in having regular dental checkups, it is recommended that you see a periodontal specialist. This professional can help you eliminate existing gum disease (which begins silently, often with no obvious symptoms) and maintain good oral health between regular care visits.

Call 828-274-9440 to schedule or learn more.


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