carbohydratesWhole grain carbohydrates could help to improve our oral health, a World Health Organization (WHO) study has found.

The research concluded that more processed forms of starch increases the chances of developing caries.

This is because saliva can more easily break processed carbohydrates into sugars in the mouth.

‘The evidence suggests that a diet rich in whole grain carbohydrates is less likely to damage your oral health than one containing processed starches,’ lead researcher, Paula Moynihan, said.

Oral cancer links

Consuming whole grain starches is also associated with a lower risk of oral cancer, the research found.

Recent studies have found a strong correlation between patients with severe gum disease and those with type 2 diabetes.

This has lead to the British Medical Journal (BMJ) saying screening dental patients for diabetes would be ‘worthwhile’.

‘While there may be a role for dentists in the future to screen patients with severe gum disease for type 2 diabetes, there are currently no established protocols to do this and it would require funding in place for training and delivering the service,’ the BDA’s scientific adviser, Professor Damien Walmsley, said.

‘Regardless of an individual’s risk for diabetes, preventing gum disease is important for all patients and dentists are the experts in oral health.

‘They advise that the best way to do this is to limit sugar intake, brush teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and visit the dentist regularly to detect problems early as many dental problems don’t become visible or cause pain until they are in the more advance stages.’


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