Chapter 7: Sugar and Dental Caries

Maxim Lagerweij*, Cor Van Loveren

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


Sugar is added to food for a multitude of functions: fermentation, preservation, physical and chemical, and also to satisfy the consumer's preference for sweetness. Unfortunately, sugar consumption is also a main aetiological factor for dental caries. The relationship between sugar and caries was established in the latter half of the 19th century. Many factors influence this relationship: the availability of sugar for bacterial digestion, the presence of acidogenic bacteria in the plaque on teeth, and the ability of fluoride and saliva to counteract bacteria and acids. The importance of the frequency of administering sugars over the amount has been demonstrated in various studies in humans. Through guidelines, world and national health organizations advocate the reduction of sugar consumption to below 10E% (daily dietary energy percentage consumption per capita), but voluntary implementation on an individual basis is difficult for many, and maybe more compulsory strategies that aim to reduce both the amount and frequency of sugar intake are needed.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMonographs in Oral Science
PublisherS. Karger AG
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019

Publication series

NameMonographs in Oral Science
ISSN (Print)0077-0892
ISSN (Electronic)1662-3843

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