Many people who are not concerned with maintaining their weight or shedding a few excess pounds, may find that they have incorporated a number of sugary treats into their diet. While this may appear to be harmless, recent research has highlighted the link between consuming excess levels of sugar with gum disease and potentially leading to heart disease.
How can the gums affect the heart?
The research team at the University of Cambridge have highlighted the link between excess sugar consumption and poor oral hygiene which can lead to heart disease.
Although this may seem unrelated, it is thought that the elements of poor oral hygiene together with consuming sugary foods can cause periodontal disease. This affects the supporting bone which is around the teeth, destroying it.
The resulting chronic infection is thought to trigger inflammation which can cause heart disease. The process of atherosclerosis, in which the arteries harden is thought to be potentially caused by the inflammation response in the body.
Banning fizzy drinks
The authors of the report refer to the soda ban which was well publicised and took place in New York. While, this garnered attention in some areas of the United States, other areas of the country and the world including the United Kingdom still have fizzy sugary drinks readily available in public areas from schools to hospitals.
Since many people consume the majority of the sugar in their diet through soda and other types of junk food, the report highlights that there are “particular concerns” and people should be “encouraged to reduce” their soda intake and “improve oral hygiene”.
Dr Ahmed Rashid, co author of the paper concludes that “reducing sugar consumption” together with “managing dental problems” could be beneficial in helping to “prevent heart problems later in life”.
So, while your sugary treat of a soda or other junk foods may seem harmless, when you managing to maintain your weight, you should consider that weight gain is not the only side effect of excess sugar consumption. It is possible that by compromising your oral health, you are starting down the road to heart disease.