photo courtesy of Allen Carr

Global sugar consumption costs the world approximately $172 billion in dental treatment, according to Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) and the Biotechnology Research and Information Network AG (BRAIN AG). In Germany alone, sugar consumption cost about $23 billion in dental treatment.

The researchers evaluated representative data on the prevalence of caries, inflammation of the gums, and tooth loss, corresponding costs of treatment and the disease burden, and sugar consumption in 168 countries for 2010. Next, they calculated the share of total costs attributable to sugar, including white household sugar and the “hidden” sugar in processed foods such as soft drinks, ketchup, ice cream, frozen foods, breads, cakes, and pastries.

“The data shows a clear correlation between the consumption of sugar and the incidence of caries, periodontitis, and, as a result, tooth loss,” said Dr. Toni Meier of the MLU and lead author of the study. “For every additional 25 grams of sugar consumed per person and day, which amounts to roughly 8 sugar cubes or a glass of sweetened lemonade, the costs of dental treatment in high-income countries increase on average by $100 per person and year.”

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