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Tooth Decay

Combine a diet high in sugar with poor oral hygiene habits and dental cavities, or caries, will likely result. The sugar triggers the formation of an acidic biofilm, known as plaque, on the teeth, eroding the surface. Early childhood caries is a severe form of tooth decay that affects one in every four children in the United States and hundreds of millions more globally. It's a particularly severe problem in underprivileged populations.

An examination of research on oral health, commissioned by the World Health Organisation, has indicated that for oral health we should stick to whole grain carbohydrates and avoid processed ones, especially if sweet.

Food contains different types of starchy carbohydrate with varying degrees of processing. Although the researchers found no association between the total amount of starch eaten and tooth decay, they did find that more processed forms of starch increased risk of cavities. This is because they can be broken down into sugars in the mouth, by amylase found in saliva.

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