Sugar and Your Dental Health: Is There a Connection?

November 1, 2021

Do you have a sweet tooth? Do you just relish sinking your teeth in sugary treats? Do you know what effect sugar has on your natural teeth? Sugar is part of life, and it is almost in anything we consume these days. Sadly, we glorify fermentable carbohydrates, which we all know have been linked with multiple overall and oral health issues.

Your parents must have told you that sugar is bad for your dental health. Since time immemorial, this has been a saying that has been passed on from one generation to the next. However, not everyone knows how sugar affects their dental health.

Sugar inherently is not bad, albeit something happens when you consume too much of it that should make you get worried. Without further ado, let’s see what happens to your teeth when you consume sugar.

The Ecosystem Present In Your Mouth

Did you know that your oral cavity is home to countless bacteria, which are either harmful or beneficial? Every minute, there is a battle in your mouth because the bacteria are fighting for survival. Sadly, your teeth just bear the brunt of this tug-of-war.

The good news is that your teeth were made to withstand almost anything that could be thrown at them. However, it doesn’t mean that they are indestructible.

When bacteria notice food in your mouth, they swarm in those areas and produce acids to digest the food. The acids will erode the enamel (the tooth’s white, shiny, hard covering) and remove the minerals. This battle will go on each day, and over time the enamel gets weak.

Is There a Link Between Sugar and Dental Health?

Yes, there is! As you know, our bodies need sugar to function. But, sugar in the mouth is a magnet for harmful bacteria. Almost immediately after you take something sugary like a soft drink, a piece of cake, or even candy, plaque coats the teeth. Plaque is a sticky, colorless substance made up of saliva, bacteria, and food particles.

When plaque coats the teeth and you fail to remove it by brushing and flossing, bacteria will wreak havoc on your teeth. Bacteria will decrease the pH of the mouth, and it will become more acidic. This is not a favorable environment for your teeth because soon after, cavities form. Cavities are the holes that are caused by bacteria when they are consuming sugar.

A decreased pH is not good for your teeth because it weakens the enamel and makes it more susceptible to attack. This can lead to severely damaged teeth.

So, How Can You Save Your Teeth?

Much of the solution will come from your end simply because you are responsible for what you eat. That being said, remember that your teeth can remineralize even after losing minerals. This is a natural process that strengthens and restores your teeth.

Your saliva plays a vital role in the remineralization process since it contains phosphates, calcium, and other essential minerals. Fluoride is also an essential mineral that aids in repairing damaged teeth.

However, you also need to play your part to ensure that your teeth remain healthy. Here are some pointers that can help you get healthy teeth:

  • Reduce Your Sugar Intake

Too much sugar is not good for you. Sugary foods should be taken in moderation and occasionally. If you are taking a sugary drink, use a straw to ensure that your teeth have limited exposure to sugar. If you are going to eat something sugary, eat it right before your meals.

  • Watch What You Eat

Sugar is in almost everything we eat these days. So be aware of what you are eating since manufacturers will use pseudonyms to trick you into sugar-free food. So, go for fresh fruits, whole grains, vegetables, and dairy products. Fresh, raw vegetables and fruits will increase the flow of saliva in your mouth, which will help with remineralization.

Also, drink lots of water since it aids in saliva production and can help reduce the food particles in the mouth.

  • Maintain Proper Oral Hygiene

You probably know this, but it is still worth mentioning that you need to brush and floss your teeth each day without fail. This is the only way that you will remove plaque from your teeth. Using fluoridated toothpaste is also a good idea since fluoride will strengthen your teeth.

You will also need to come dental office to receive dental care. So, if you have any dental issues, contact us at Brookstone Dental Care.

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