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The word ‘toxic’ is so confusing it needs to be divided into two categories.
Category 1: There are things that we know are toxic and that will kill you quickly, like ingesting rat poison or inhaling caustic chemicals. These things have an immediate and perhaps irreparable impact on your body simply because your body can’t process them, can’t clear them fast enough, so it overwhelms the system. It takes its toll and kills you.
Category 2: The word ‘toxic’ is applied to all kinds of other things in our world from indoor air, to relationships to pesticide sprayed broccoli. These things won’t take your legs out from under you and make you turn blue; instead, they make their impact over time. Much depends upon how effectively you/your body deal with them or eliminate them. This category is HUGE and but humans are designed to handle little baby assaults that would have the capacity to kill us… slowly. The trick is to mitigate risk all day, every day by making wise choices and having healthy habits.
There is one insidious thing that does exist in our daily lives that heretofore has been believed to be in category 2 (not that bad) that turns out to be a category 1 (really bad).
That’s right. Sugar.
(sometimes known as juice. Even pure, ‘freshly squeezed’ fruit juice, also known as brown sugar, no better than High Fructose Corn Sugar.)
There is a YouTube video lecture called Sugar: The Bitter Truth given by a specialist on paediatric hormone disorders (like diabetes) and the leading expert in childhood obesity, Dr. Lustig, that has become a bit of a legendary sensation normally reserved for pop artists. This lecture makes a persuasive argument about sugar and its toxic impact on your body. He makes it clear that we can no longer just think of sugar as ‘empty calories’ that can be ‘worked off’ as long as you are otherwise healthy. The impact of sugar goes way beyond that to actually become toxic. He walks through the biochemical reasons why a glass of juice or soda is no different than a shot of bourbon. The impact on the liver is the same either way and it is killing us…sweetly. Worth switching categories for, right?
Knowing this begs the question: is it ALL sugar? Certainly all white sugar/brown sugar/corn sugar that is consumed in liquid form. There is no doubt that we need to reduce the estimated 40+ pounds of that stuff that we swallow in our snacks and pour into our cups each year. Then, you want to find alternatives to them as often as you can.
If eating ice cream or sipping a hot coffee is sometimes painful, or if flossing, brushing or even breathing in cold air makes you occasionally wince you may have dental sensitivity. Over half of adults report experiencing some form of dental sensitivity that is triggered by hot, cold, sweet or sour foods and drinks. It is the most common dental complaint and can be very uncomfortable. It is important to know that it can come and go over time.
What causes dental sensitivity?
The most common cause of tooth sensitivity is shrinking gums. Another cause of sensitivity is excessive enamel wear.
Enamel is the protective outer coating of our teeth and is the strongest substance in the body, but it can be worn away.
In both these situations, the layer underneath the enamel becomes exposed to the environment. This inner exposed layer, called dentin, contains thousands of tiny channels that lead directly to the nerves inside every tooth. When this exposed layer is stimulated by coming in contact with cold, hot, or sweet foods, or even being touched by cutlery or the bristles of a toothbrush it can be painful.
Factors that lead to sensitive teeth:
How do we lose enamel? Why do our gums shrink?
How can we treat or prevent this from happening?
Image of dentist from Shutterstock.