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If Not Tooth Decay Then How About Liver Decay!

I had the privilege of attending the International Association of Dental Research and the Canadian Association of Dental Research conference in March 2018. In the multitude of clinical sessions, I attended a keynote speaker session that was quite interesting. It was an invitation to revisit how we think about sugar-triggered tooth decay, dentistry, and health in general. The eminent speaker was Dr. Robert Lustig, who was kind enough to accept my invitation to speak about his session on CDA Oasis. 

Dr. Lustig is an American pediatric endocrinologist. He is Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), where he specializes in neuroendocrinology and childhood obesity. He is also director of UCSF’s WATCH program (Weight Assessment for Teen and Child Health), and president and co-founder of the non-profit Institute for Responsible Nutrition.

A full biographical entry of Dr. Lustig can be found on Wikipedia

I thoroughly enjoyed his session at IADR/CADR as well as my conversation with him on CDA Oasis. I hope you also enjoy this conversation and find it interesting and important. Please share your feedback, thoughts, suggestions, and questions at oasisdiscussions@cda-adc.ca or if you would like to call us, our toll-free number is 1855-716-2747.

Until next time!

Chiraz Guessaier, CDA Oasis Manager

Highlights

  • Mountain Dew Mouth has been the scourge of dentists for decades. Dental caries are the greatest single cause of craniofacial pain, but there is a new disease which affects even more people: Mountain Dew Liver. Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Diseases (NAFLD) were not discovered until 1980 and now up to on third of Americans suffer from NAFLD. 
  • Children especially suffer, upon autopsy NAFLD is present in 13% of children and 38% of obese children.
  • Both tooth decay and NAFLD have been increasing. Excessive sugar explains both.
  • Fructose is metabolized by mouth bacteria into lactic acid, which burns a hole right through the biofilm and the tooth. Fructose in the liver gets turned into fat in the mitochondria, which drives NAFLD, the leading cause of liver transplantation now, surpassing Hepatitis B and C.
  • Children are most susceptible to both diseases, in part because they are the biggest sugar consumers. Physicians and dentists must be united in supporting public health measures to reduce chronic disease. 

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