Don’t overlook impact of sugar on tooth decay, BDA warns

As high consumption of sugar is the leading cause of tooth decay, the British Dental Association welcomes the recent launch of a consultation by the government’s scientific advisory body on carbohydrates, including sugars, in people’s diets.

Dentists are concerned that the detrimental impact of sugar on high levels of tooth decay may be overlooked in the current debate about sugar intake and obesity.

The chair of the British Dental Association’s Health and Science Committee, Graham Stokes, said:

While the current debate rightly focuses on the links between sugar and the nation’s expanding waistlines, we must not forget that sugar is the leading cause of tooth decay.

Tooth decay – often involving several teeth – is the main reason why youngsters are admitted to hospital to have a general anaesthetic. Last year alone over 25,000 young people in England had a general anaesthetic to remove rotten teeth. This is a distressing experience for both children and their parents and is entirely preventable.

The BDA, via its long-running Make a Meal of It campaign, has been engaging the dental profession and public in the fight against sugar consumption. The organisation is also a signatory to the Action on Sugar campaign.