Tooth Decay – Surprising Facts
An interesting article on the Whole Health Source blog points to scientific studies that show that refined carbohydrates are much worse for teeth in terms for de-calcification. The reason appears to be to do with the fact that refined grains and sugars have had important nutrients like calcium and phosphorous stripped out. This causes these minerals to leech out of the teeth into the saliva. One of the most surprising facts to come out of the study is the fact that refined wheat has a worse effect on direct contact with the teeth than refined sugar!
Although these studies don’t test this, it is believed by many, including myself, that refined sugars and carbohydrates also strip minerals from teeth and bones once absorbed into the body. The mechanism for this is to do with the fine balance of sugars in the blood. Calcium has a critical role regulating blood sugar level. So much so that it can be argued that the main role of the skeleton is for calcium storage with the structural benefits a secondary purpose. When refined sugars, lacking in minerals, hit the blood, calcium is used from the bones and teeth as part of the process to maintain homoeostasis. When unrefined carbohydrates are absorbed, they do so with the necessary minerals already available so the need to take calcium from the bones and teeth are minimised.
This would go some way to explain why countries with the highest dairy intake, like the US, also have the highest level of osteoporosis. What I mean by that is that despite the fact people in the US take in large amounts of calcium they still have a high incidence of osteoporosis due to the diet dominated by refined carbohydrates.