Sugar and Its Effect on Teeth

Sugar and Its Effect on Teeth

The Dangers of Sugar for Your Teeth

Your mouth is full of bacteria — many are beneficial, while others are harmful. The harmful bacteria feed on the sugar you consume and create acids that attack and damage your tooth enamel, the protective, shiny outer layer of your teeth.

The acids form a bacterial infection that could lead to cavities and cause holes in your teeth. Left untreated, cavities can advance past your enamel into your tooth’s deeper layers, leading to potential tooth loss and pain.

Another essential mineral, fluoride, also helps to repair damaged and weak enamel. If you’re eating a lot of starches and sweets every day, there’s only so much the remineralization process can do to prevent the effect sugar has on your teeth. Therefore, it’s crucial that you do your part by limiting how much sugar you consume, allowing your mouth to do its natural job of repairing the damage and maintaining good oral hygiene.

Sugar is sugar, no matter the form — including:

  • Maple syrup
  • Honey
  • Granulated
  • Molasses

How Does Sugar Cause Cavities

When you consume sugar, it immediately begins interacting with the plaque bacteria to produce acid. The acid then dissolves your enamel slowly, creating the cavities in your teeth, thereby making the acid the culprit for tooth decay — not the sugar. Tooth decay often results in tooth abscesses, where you may need to visit the dentist to have the tooth extracted.

What You Can Do to Protect Your Teeth

  1. Brush your teeth often
  2. Do not let sugar sit in your mouth
  3. Consume sugary foods with your meal
  4. Chew after eating
  5. Watch your diet 
  6. Know the Warning Signs You’re Consuming Too Much Sugar
  7. Visit the dentist for cleans and check-ups
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