How Does Sugar Affect Your Teeth?
How Does Sugar Affect Your Teeth
Even as your local dentist here in Kitchener Waterloo, we all love sugary treats, but have you ever wondered why sugar is bad for your teeth? Although sugar may appear harmless, it can have extensive dental health implications for people who consume it and are not able to manage its effects. Eating certain foods, especially sugars can affect your oral health. People who consume diets rich in sugars tend to experience dental issues like cavities and gum disease. Sugar is part of many drinks and food items that we consume. That is why we must understand how sugar affects our teeth. Keep reading to get more information on how sugar affects teeth.
How Sugar Causes Cavities
Irrespective of your age, the causes of tooth decay are always the same. Tooth decay ensues when bacteria found in your mouth starts to feed on sugars present in your diet. Consuming a lot of sugar can cause tooth decay and cavities. After consuming a sugary treat, a series of events occur in your mouth, causing cavities or decay.
After eating sugar, it immediately interacts with plaque bacteria resulting in acid production. The acid produced then slowly dissolves your enamel causing cavities in your teeth. All these show that acid is the main factor causing tooth decay and not the consumed sugar. Tooth decay can be addressed with doing fillings, but if left for too long can lead to more serious issues. Have cavities/decay alone is not ideal as once you need fillings, the natural strength and integrity of your teeth is compromised.
How Your Mouth Combats Cavities
All foods that you consume enter the body through the mouth. Therefore, your mouth acts as the battleground between harmful and beneficial bacteria. Many scientific studies have confirmed that harmful bacteria will produce acid in the mouth when they encounter and digest sugar. Therefore, whenever you consume sugar, these plaque bacteria will produce more and more acid, which eats away your enamel.
Your saliva may try combating this damage. However, when you consume large amounts of sugar, more acid is produced than your saliva can handle. The repeated acid attacks cycle on your teeth causes loss of the enamel, the shiny, protective layer that covers the teeth. With time, the acid will weaken and destroy the enamel causing cavities.
Remineralization is another way the body combats damage caused by cavity-making acids. Minerals such as calcium and phosphates are produced from saliva and enamel through remineralization. These minerals help in strengthening the teeth. Fluoride is also generated to repair the weakened enamel. Although remineralization helps the body fight the effects of acids that eat away the enamel, this process can only do so much. Limiting your consumption of sugar is the best way of maintaining healthy and strong teeth.
In a Wrap
Sugar is prevalent in the drinks and foods we consume, such that eliminating it from your diet can seem overwhelming. But now that you understand how bad sugar can be to your oral and overall health, you should focus on consuming healthy diets. You can start by removing refined and processed sugars or high fructose corn syrup from your meals. By changing your diet and eliminating these sweeteners, you can lower the risks of developing problems with your gums and teeth. For more information contact Dr. Husain here, your local dentist in Kitchener Waterloo.