Poway and San Diego, CA
We all know that avoiding fast food makes for a healthier waistline, but did you ever stop to think about how it could affect your gum line? The truth is, fast food can be harmful to your oral health, and here’s why.
As Americans, we consume approximately 13 times more sugar than we did two centuries ago. Consuming this amount of sugar can pose significant consequences for your oral health, not to mention your body. Oral bacteria thrive off of the sugars we put in our mouths. As they consume these sugars, they secrete an acid that is highly erosive to your dental enamel, which leads to cavities and gum disease. Sugar also encourages the growth of this harmful bacteria, which if dental hygiene measures are not taken, can infect the gums and erode the jawbone, consequences of gum disease.
The problem is that fast food contains more sugar than you realize. Nearly everything has sugar in it, and you can easily surpass the recommended daily amounts of sugar just by consuming a single meal from the drive-thru.
Just to give you a perspective on sugar content, check out these commonly ordered fast food items:
- Panera Bread: Fuji apple chicken salad has 20 grams of sugar, which equates to 80% of the recommended daily amount.
- Chipotle: Salad with sofritas, brown rice, fajita veggies, corn salsa, sour cream, cheese, guacamole, and dressing is packed with 26.5 grams of sugar or 106% of recommended daily intake.
- Chick-fil-A: Medium sweet tea has a whopping 32 grams of sugar or 128% of recommended daily intake.
- Subway: Sweet onion chicken teriyaki foot long is loaded with 32 grams of sugar or 128% of recommended daily intake.
Drinks are bad, too
The chances are that if you are eating at a fast food restaurant, you are also drinking soda. It is no surprise to many of us that sodas are loaded with sugar. Just for perspective, a medium soft drink contains as much as 11 grams of sugar! What about diet soda instead? You may think that drinking a diet soda is healthier, but it still is soda, meaning it is acidic. Remember when we mentioned earlier about how oral bacteria secrete acids that erode your teeth? Soda is incredibly acidic, and excessive consumption of soda can lead to rampant tooth decay, leading to extensive repairs.
Increased Risk for Diabetes
Eating fast food regularly can increase your risk of diabetes, which is a systemic disease that can also have devastating effects on your oral health. Diabetics tend to suffer from more frequent tooth decay, and gum disease – the leading cause of tooth loss among adults.
While you don’t have to give up fast food entirely, just limit your consumption, and be sure to consume a healthy, balanced diet otherwise. Also, remember to take care of your teeth and gums by brushing twice a day and flossing daily. Routine dental checkups to your Poway dentist will include a dental cleaning that removes all bacteria and plaque buildup, which keeps your smile healthy and looking good.
Oral Health Care in Poway
To learn more about how to protect your oral health or to schedule a consultation, please call (858) 673-0141 or contact Smiles by Dr. Cook today. We welcome patients of Poway, Carmel Mountain, and Rancho Bernardo, California.