Processed Starch Found To Increase Dental Cavity Risk

A big part of looking after your teeth is watching what you eat and drink. We all know the importance of not eating too much sugar where good oral health is concerned, but did you know that the kinds of carbohydrates you’re eating could also have an impact on your teeth?

New research from the University of Newcastle has just this month (August 7th) revealed that more processed forms of starch increase the risk of developing cavities, because these starches can be broken down into sugars thanks to the amylase in our saliva.

Published in the Journal of Dental Research, the study looked at rapidly digestible starches like crackers, biscuits, white bread, pretzels and cakes, as well as those that are slowly digestible, including legumes and wholegrains, comparing their relationships with oral cancer, gum disease and dental caries.

“Despite an ill-advised fashion for eliminating carbohydrates from the diet, a carbohydrate-rich diet is shown to be fine for oral health so long as it is low in sugars and is based on wholegrain varieties of carbs such as pasta, couscous and wholemeal bread. The key for shoppers is to look for wholemeal and wholegrain on the labels,” lead author of the study Paula Moynihan said.

As for foods that are good for our teeth, stock the cupboards full of cheese (which can raise the pH in your mouth and lower your risk of tooth decay), yoghurt (high in calcium and protein), and leafy greens (high in calcium, which is good for your tooth enamel).

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