We all know that eating too much sugar is bad for your teeth, but do you know exactly why it’s so bad? You may think it’s the sugar itself that damages your teeth, but in fact it’s the chain of events that the sugar sets off that can lead to tooth decay and other dental issues. Here, we explain why sugar is bad for your teeth.
How Can Eating Sugar Cause Cavities?
Your mouth is full of hundreds of bacteria that keep your oral health in check and are beneficial to your oral ecosystem. However, there are some types of bacteria that feed on the sugar you eat to create acids that dissolve your tooth’s protective enamel. A cavity then forms on the tooth as a result of the bacterial infection created by these acids. If left untreated, cavities can progress beyond the enamel into the deeper layers of tooth and lead to even more serious issues like tooth loss.
Does Sugar Hinder My Enamel’s Remineralization?
Every day your teeth are attacked by acids that leach minerals from your enamel through a process called demineralization. The goods news is that the natural process of remineralization replaces minerals and restrengthens your teeth. Remineralization is made possible by your saliva, which contains minerals like phosphate and calcium that work to repair your teeth. Fluoride also helps repair weakened enamel through brushing with fluoride-toothpaste and drinking fluoridated water. However, if you eat a lot of sugar, remineralization doesn’t stand a chance as a defense mechanism. By eating large quantities of sugars, simple carbohydrates, and starches throughout the day, you negate the good that the remineralization process does and put yourself in danger of cavities and other dental health issues.
How Can I Prevent Cavities?
If you want to reduce your risk of cavities, you need to cut down your sugar intake. Reach for water and tooth-healthy foods instead! Dairy products like cheese and yogurt contain calcium and phosphate that strengthen your teeth. Fibrous vegetables and fruits help stimulate saliva production, which is important to the remineralization process. You can also chew sugarless gum to increase the amount of saliva in your mouth. Another critical part of reducing your risk of cavities is to come in for regular cleanings and checkups. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!
Ask us additional questions about how to promote strong & healthy teeth!