Sugar consumption is rapidly increasing all over the world, notwithstanding the negative impact on both the dental and general health. Another point of consideration is the huge amount of money being spent to maintain a good dental health across the globe.
A recent joint study conducted by the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) and the Biotechnology Research and Information Network AG (BRAIN AG) finds that a swelling amount of money is currently being spent on dental treatment worldwide. The research was conducted within the strategic alliance NatLifE 2020 and was partly funded by German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).
It is reported by Science Daily that the new study finds that the cost of dental treatment globally is running up to 172 billion US dollars, which is equivalent to 128 billion euros. The report added that around 23 billion US dollars (17.2 billion euros) is spent on dental treatment every year in Germany alone.
While conducting the study, the authors analyzed representative data on gum inflammation (parodontitis), the prevalence of caries, tooth loss, costs of treatment, burden of disease and also data on sugar consumption in 168 countries across the world for the year 2010. They went ahead to calculated the share of total costs that can be attributed to the excessive consumption of sugar.
Meanwhile, it is reported by Medical Express that the researchers did not only focus on white household sugar but also on the hidden sugar contained in the processed foods like ice cream, bread, soft drinks, pastries, ketchup, cakes and frozen foods.
“The data shows a clear correlation between the consumption of sugar and the incidence of caries, parodontitis and, as a result, tooth loss. For every additional 25 grams of sugar consumed per person and day – which amounts to roughly eight sugar-cubes or a glass of sweetened lemonade – the costs of dental treatment in high-income countries increase on average by 100 US dollars (75 euros) per person and year,” lead author of the study, Dr Toni Meier from the Institute of Agricultural and Nutritional Sciences at the MLU said.
Furthermore, the study authors found that the average daily sugar consumption in Germany is between 90 and 110 grams per person, thus making the costs of dental treatment 281 US dollars (210 euros) per person every year. They stated that other countries with similar consumption levels are Denmark (238 US dollars, 178 euros), Switzerland (402 US dollars, 300 euros), and the United States (185 US dollars, 138 euros).
The researchers believe that following the recommendation of the World Health Organization that a person should only consume 50 grams of sugar per day would go a long way in reducing the cost of dental treatment across the world. They found the highest levels of sugar-related dental illness in Guatemala, Mauretania, and Mexico. The study authors published their findings in the International Journal of Dental Research.