DENTAL health in the Murrumbidgee has consistently declined over the past five years, to the point where the region is now rated among the worst in NSW.
The MIA is currently among the state's top two districts for preventable hospitalisations caused by dental conditions, leaving local dentists with a bitter taste in their mouths.
Australian Dental Association NSW president, Dr Kathleen Matthews, says the introduction of a sugar tax could be a step in the right direction.
"I think a sugar tax would have multiple benefits, not just oral health," Dr Matthews explained.
"But for oral health, what we hope to see is the sugar tax lowering levels of added sugar in beverages that people drink.
"The other thing is that hopefully it makes sugary drinks less attractive in terms of purchase."
Other countries that have seen the incorporation of a sugar tax have recorded reduced consumption of sugary drinks, decreases in obesity and flow-on effects of less dental decay in patients.
One in six Australian teenagers are currently downing at least 5.2 kilograms of sugar each year from sugary drinks alone.
Many people would find the idea of eating 16 teaspoons of sugar sickening, but this is exactly how much sugar is consumed from just one 600mL bottle of soft drink.
"People aren't flipping the label over and reading the added sugar content," Dr Matthews said.
"It's really easy to drink 600mL of fluid and not actually understand how much sugar you've just introduced into your diet."
The revenue raised from the sugar tax would be reintroduced as education programs across the country, tackling top health concerns such as CVD, diabetes, obesity and oral health.
"There is a clear relationship between excess sugar consumption and increased rates of decay," Dr Matthews said.
"Everything in moderation is fine, we're not saying don't ever have sugary drinks, what we're saying is don't let that be your drink of choice."