Are you destroying your teeth at night?


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Dangers of your ‘desk-diet’

How eating on the go is ruining your teeth: From popcorn to so-called ‘healthy’ smoothies, dentist reveals the dangers lurking in your ‘desk diet’

A busy working week can take its toll on our lives, leaving little time to plan our meals.

From breakfast at the desk to the mid-afternoon slump, the temptation to take short cuts and grab the nearest pick me up is too much to resist.

With so many products claiming to be ‘healthy’, it can be a real struggle to know what to pick from the shelves of your nearest high street shop.

And lurking inside many seemingly ‘healthy’ foods, are hidden ingredients that may be wreaking havoc with your teeth.

Now, Dr Sameer Patel, clinical director at the Elleven practice in London’s Harley Street, has highlighted the dentistry dangers of the ‘desk diet’.

Here, he reveals the biggest offenders, and offers advice on how to safeguard your oral health during the working day.


Dental Danger

Some breakfast cereals can contain as much as three teaspoons of sugar per serving – this is around two and a half chocolate biscuits.

Inconsistent labelling means that even the ‘healthier’ brands can also be culprits and choices such as muesli can be surprisingly high in sugars.


There is a way around this. Opt for low sugar options such as wheat biscuits or unsweetened porridge oats and if you need something to sweeten the taste go for honey or crunchy fruit.

Eating your cereal with dairy products can also counteract the damage caused by sugar and have added benefits for your oral health.

The calcium, phosphates and vitamin D in milk provides important minerals which can help improve the health of your teeth by strengthening and de-mineralising their structure.

Probiotic yoghurt can also help decrease bad bacteria in the mouth which in turn limits tooth decay and helps to promote a healthy mouth environment.

Athelete’s suffer tooth decay

From Irish Times –

Irish Dental Association president says 76% of those in 2012 Olympics had gum disease


Fit and athletic men and women are increasingly suffering from cavities because of the

growing consumption of “healthy” sports drinks, the new president of the Irish Dental Association (IDA) has warned.

Dr Anne Twomey said many patients who were participating in sports were experiencing significant tooth decay and erosion to their teeth.

She said while most people engaging in sports or activities understood the importance of hydration and a healthy diet, many were not aware that a lot of the sports drinks and protein shakes they consumed had a very high sugar content.

Addressing over 400 delegates at the IDA’s annual conference in Cork yesterday, she said the association would be making contact with the Irish Sports Council and member bodies such as the FAI, GAA and IRFU to tackle the issue.

Dr Twomey said people who were constantly taking little sips of sports drinks from a bottle were effectively bathing their teeth in sugar and giving their mouths no time to recover.

“Sports drinks, protein shakes, energy drinks, energy bars and fruit juices can contain anything from five to a dozen teaspoons of sugar. We’ve even come across one drink which contained 14 teaspoons of sugar.

“Protein/meal replacement bars can be very damaging due to the sticky nature of the honey or syrup which is often included. Dried fruit also has a very high concentration of sugar.

57 words for sugar

“Tooth decay is always caused by sugar. Often my patients are unaware they are consuming sugar as they are labelled with other words. There are in fact 57 different words used instead of sugar such as sucrose, lactose, glucose, fructose, etc etc.”

Dr Twomey pointed to the findings of a survey of athletes at the London Olympics in 2012 by a team from University College London which found that athletes as a group had worse dental health than other people of a similar age.

Of the 302 athletes examined from 25 sports, 55 per cent had evidence of cavities, 45 per cent had tooth erosion and 76 per cent had gum disease. One in three said their oral health affected their quality of life, and one in five said it affected training or athletic performance.

“Our advice is clear. Avoid sports drinks on a regular basis. If taking protein shakes or bars study the ingredients carefully and opt for those not containing sugar.”