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Issues & People

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


  • 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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Oasis Moment – Take Away Message (1.45″)


Full Conversation (39.02″)



  1. Alex Galo June 6, 2018

    Dr. Lustig is one of my heroes. If governments listened to him and banned processed foods, our health would vastly improve. Of course that’s never going to happen so one must do so on an individual basis and reap the health rewards.

  2. Reza Nouri June 11, 2018

    this is an amazing presentation. My highest regards for Dr. Lustig, not only for his scientific achievements, but for having the courage to go against big corps to sound the alarm against over consumption of sugar and processed food. Each and every healthcare professional should relay this message to each patient, since our hands are tied in the media.

  3. Dr Leonard B Smith October 1, 2018

    This is further evidence that untreated severe early childhood decay is an infectious disease that is about more than just baby teeth!!


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