Hardly any child in the world will turn down a piece of candy, though smart parents know better than to let their little ones indulge in sweet treats. A recent study reveals that other than the increased risk of tooth decay, a predilection for sweets and junk food can leave children at higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD). The Guardians’ Haroon Siddique reports on the latest findings published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine:
The paper says that the association between oral health and CVD “suggests that reducing sugar consumption may be a particularly important target for future health policy in this area”.
Tracy Parker, heart health dietitian at the British Heart Foundation, which has said a 20% tax on sugary drinks would reduce obesity, said: “A diet full of junk food can have all sorts of unhealthy consequences. As well as being high in salt and saturated fat, which can increase your blood pressure and cholesterol, processed foods and fizzy drinks are often packed with sugar. Too much sugar is bad news for your teeth and gums.”
Sugar per se doesn’t cause teeth to rot, but it does feed acid-producing bacteria that eat away at tooth enamel and the underlying dentin. As such, parents would do well to ensure that their kids eat mostly healthy, natural foods and visit a pediatric dentist in East Cobb on a regular basis.
Meanwhile, a joint study between UK and Irish medical experts has discovered that Streptococcus gordonii, a type of oral bacteria, can cause clots to form on the heart valves and thereby lead to blood vessel inflammation. A gentle kids’ dentist in East Cobb can, among other things, perform dental exams and thorough cleanings to remove stubborn plaque and bacteria that cause tooth decay. By providing quality oral care, a pediatric dentist can help reduce the amount of harmful bacteria that enters the bloodstream and thereby promote good overall health.
(Source: Poor oral hygiene linked to heart disease – study, The Guardian, 28 November 2013)