How Sugar Damages Your Teeth and How to Fight Tooth Decay?

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Sugar is known to be detrimental to your teeth and as science has developed, it is now known that sugar contributes to tooth decay. However, sugar alone is not the problem. Instead, the subsequent series of events are to blame.

How Does Sugar Affect Your Teeth

Below are listed reasons for how sugar harms your teeth and how to stop tooth decay:

1. Your Mouth is a Field of Combat

Your mouth is home to several different types of germs. While some are good for your dental health, some are bad. For instance, research has revealed that certain dangerous bacteria generate acid in your mouth whenever they come into contact with and consume sugar. The tooth enamel, which is the bright, outer covering that protects your teeth, is mineralized by these acids. ‘Demineralization’ is the name given to this process.

The good news is that remineralization, a natural process that takes place as a result of this damage, is continually aided by saliva which aids in reversing the negative process. Along with fluoride from toothpaste and water, the minerals in your saliva, such calcium and phosphate, aid in the enamel’s ability to heal itself by replacing minerals lost during an “acid attack.” Your teeth get stronger as a result.

However, the enamel loses minerals as a result of the constant acid assaults. This causes the enamel to deteriorate and produce a cavity over time. A cavity is, to put it simply, a hole in the tooth brought on by dental decay. It comes about as a result of dangerous bacteria creating acids by digesting food’s sugar.

If the cavity is not addressed, it may progress into the tooth’s deeper layers, leading to discomfort and perhaps tooth loss. A toothache, discomfort when chewing, and sensitivity to substances that are sweet, hot or cold are symptoms of cavities that should be discussed with your Sunlake dentist.

2. Sugar Draws Bad Bacteria and Decreases pH in Your Mouth

Streptococcus Mutans and Streptococcus Sorbrinus are the two corrosive bacteria that are typically found in the mouth. Both of them feed on the sugar you consume to produce dental plaque, a sticky, white film that develops on the teeth’s surface. If the plaque is not removed by saliva or brushing, the oral environment becomes more acidic, which may lead to the formation of cavities. The pH scale, with a neutral value of 7, determines how basic or acidic a solution is.

When plaque’s pH falls below 5.5, which is considered normal, the acidity begins to break down minerals and erode the tooth’s enamel. Small holes or erosions will develop during the procedure. They will gradually get bigger until a single, sizable hole or hollow is seen.

3. Food Choices That Lead to Tooth Decay

Recent studies have revealed that specific eating habits have an impact on the development of cavities:

a) Consuming Snacks High in Sugar

How Sugar Damages Your Teeth and How to Fight Tooth Decay

Consider your options before grabbing that sweet treat. Numerous research have revealed that regular use of sugary foods and beverages causes cavities. When you often snack on sugary foods, your teeth are exposed to different acids for longer periods of time, which leads to tooth decay. In a recent study of schoolchildren, those who ate cookies and potato chips as a snack had a four times greater risk of developing cavities than those who did not.

b) Consuming Acidic and Sugary Drinks

Juices, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened soft drinks are the most popular sources of liquid sugar. These beverages contain a lot of acids as well as sugar, which can lead to tooth disease. Drinking 1-2 sugar-sweetened drinks per day was found to increase the incidence of cavities by half in a significant study conducted.

Additionally, research involving more than 15,000 individuals found that those who sometimes drank one sugary beverage had a 40% higher chance of losing one to five teeth than those who never drank any sugary beverages. The chance of losing more than six teeth is therefore virtually tripled if you consume sugary beverages more than twice each day.

In conclusion: Cut down on sugar

Foods that are sticky and sweet should only be consumed seldom. If you do indulge in sweets, wash your mouth out with water to help rinse away the sugar that adheres to your teeth, ideally fluoridated tap water. Additionally, if you do consume soft drinks at all, do it in moderation. If you do consume them, avoid taking lengthy, leisurely sips.

This prolongs the time that sugar and acid attacks are made on your teeth. Drink water in its place. It has no calories, sugar, or acid. The bacteria in your mouth will work to break down everything sweet you eat or drink.

However, they do so while producing acid. Acid damages tooth enamel, which eventually leads to tooth decay. Reduce your intake of high-sugar foods and beverages, especially in the hours before night to promote the best dental health.

The greatest approaches to combat tooth decay are to take proper care of your teeth and have a healthy lifestyle. Contact your dentist at Sunlake Dental to discuss any further questions about eating habits.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does sugar contribute to tooth decay?

Sugar contributes to tooth decay by providing food for bacteria in the mouth, which produce acid when they consume sugar. The acid attacks tooth enamel, leading to demineralization and eventually cavities.

What are some food choices that can lead to tooth decay?

Food choices that can lead to tooth decay include snacks high in sugar, and consuming acidic and sugary drinks, such as juices, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened soft drinks.

How can I reduce the negative effects of sugar on my teeth?

Cut down on sugar consumption, rinse your mouth with water after consuming sweets, drink water instead of sugary beverages, and maintain good dental hygiene practices, such as regular brushing and flossing.

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