Boost your DentistryIQ: Artificial sweeteners—good for waistlines, bad for teeth

Aug. 18, 2020
Dr. Pamela Maragliano-Muniz and Dr. Brian Novy discuss artificial sweeteners and how they interact with saliva. The bottom line: sugar-free does not always mean caries-free.

Dr. Pamela Maragliano-Muniz begins her discussion with Dr. Brian Novy with an anecdote regarding two of her patients. Both were trying to quit smoking and developed rampant caries after using nicotine lozenges. Were the lozenges and caries related? Dr. Maragliano-Muniz looked at the nicotine lozenge ingredients, and then called Dr. Novy of Alliance Dental Center with her questions.

Dr. Novy acknowledges that he isn’t the first dentist with such questions. He then explains why sugar-free does not always equate to caries-free. Dr. Novy shares a few of which sweeteners are worse than others and why. He explains that it’s not the quantity but the frequency with which someone consumes something, thus leading to how long their teeth are exposed to an item.

Bottom line: Many sugar substitutes are cariogenic.

But there’s much more, including a discussion about good and bad saliva. Find out what else you can learn from these two dentists that you can apply directly to your practice right now.

For more informative and up-to-the-minute video chats with key industry experts, visit DentistryIQ Videos.

Pamela Maragliano-Muniz, DMD, is the chief editor of DentistryIQ and editorial co-director of Through the Loupes. Based in Salem, Massachusetts, Dr. Maragliano-Muniz began her clinical career as a dental hygienist. She went on to attend Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, where she earned her doctorate in dental medicine. She then attended the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Dental Medicine, where she became board-certified in prosthodontics. Dr. Maragliano-Muniz owns a private practice, Salem Dental Arts, and lectures on a variety of clinical topics. You may contact her at [email protected]