A Review of Excessive Sugar Metabolism on Oral and General Health

Chin J Dent Res. 2017;20(4):193-198. doi: 10.3290/j.cjdr.a39218.


Stomatologists and dental practitioners, as they are called in different parts of the world according to tradition and history, are basically physicians who specialise in the study and treatment of diseases of the mouth and surrounding structures. They have always been outstanding in advocating the reduction of sugar consumption, mainly due to its direct connection to the pathogenesis of dental caries. Increasingly, it has come to the attention of researchers, epidemiologists and many healthcare workers and professionals that excessive consumption of sugar is also closely tied to the increase in tandem of our current major health issues like obesity, diabetes, heart, liver and kidney disease, and a host of other associated ailments. This development of current health crises throughout the world wherever traditional diets are replaced with modern fast food diets, which are usually packed with hidden, added refined sugars, is extremely troubling. It becomes all the more urgent and incumbent upon clinicians and stomatologists throughout the world to redouble their efforts to reduce and even eliminate the excessive consumption of added or extrinsic or secondary or hidden sugars to food and drinks. It will not only be to reduce dental caries, but also to reduce the many systemic and organ diseases associated with added sugars and which also exacerbate many oral diseases. This review is to give a basic history of sugar, the current understanding of sugar metabolism and the developing literature and research on the impact of sugar consumption on oral and overall health, as the mouth cannot be divorced from the body and vice versa. The author hopes to kick-start more research into this area that will result in various positive developments in the food and drink industry and persuade stakeholders to comprehensively address this universal health crisis that is closely tied to excessive consumption of added sugar in all its forms.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Dental Caries / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus / metabolism
  • Dietary Sugars / metabolism*
  • Health Status*
  • Heart Diseases / epidemiology
  • Heart Diseases / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Kidney Diseases / epidemiology
  • Kidney Diseases / metabolism
  • Liver Diseases / epidemiology
  • Liver Diseases / metabolism
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Obesity / metabolism
  • Oral Health*


  • Dietary Sugars