We all know that sugar can harm your health and is considered bad for your teeth, but do you know why it is so? Sugar is a significant part of our everyday food consumption, but it is necessary to understand why it can adversely affect your oral health and why you should avoid it. While sugar itself is not the one to blame, the following chain of events makes it the source of harmful effects like tooth decay. Consuming sugar in large quantities can negatively impact your mouth, gums and teeth. Here is how sugar affects your teeth and what you can do about it.
Many types of bacteria reside inside your mouth. While some are beneficial for your oral health, some are not. Some bacteria can produce harmful acids when they digest sugar, removing minerals from the tooth enamel. Your saliva constantly helps reverse this damage, but eating large amounts of sugar leads to more acid production, which your saliva can’t handle. When this continues over time, the tooth’s protective outer layer erodes, forming a cavity.
How Does Sugar Affect Your Teeth?
Many foods contain sugar, but while there are natural sources of sugar in fruits, vegetables, and honey, typical snacks like cookies and chips have sugar too. Consuming high amounts of processed sugar can be damaging since they leave a sticky residue on your teeth that even saliva can’t wash away.
Brushing, flossing, mouthwash, or dental cleanings are ways to get rid of the residue. Frequent snacking on foods high in sugar can increase your exposure to the dissolving effects of the acid, leading to tooth decay.
Harmful Effects Of Sugar On Your Teeth
- 1. Changes Acidity Levels
Two of the destructive bacteria present in the mouth feed on sugar and result in plaque, which is a sticky substance that dentists clean out during routine visits. If it’s not washed away, it can increase the acidity in your mouth and lead to erosion of your mouth’s enamel.
While the average pH level of the mouth is in the neutral range of 6.7-7.3, it can gradually dip due to 5.5 due to the increase in acidity by consumption of acidic food or beverages, leading to the breaking down of tooth enamel.
- 2. Attracts Bad Bacteria
Sugar attracts bacteria that can cause gingivitis and gum disease that causes your gums to recede, destroying the protective tissue that holds the teeth in place. When the plaque caused by sugar consumption isn’t washed away by brushing or cleaning, it becomes more acidic, which leads to corrosion, which over time results in cavities.
What’s The Effect Of Sugary Drinks On Teeth?
As unbelievable as it is, sugary drinks can be more harmful than sugary food because they might be acidic. Drinks like sodas have acidity other than those created by the sugars present. High fructose corn syrup, a sweetening substance present in many beverages, coats your mouth in toxins and creates a sticky film where bacteria breeds, creating acid that eventually causes cavities.
How Can You Avoid Demineralization?
The process where the minerals on the tooth are damaged is known as demineralization.
While your saliva helps reverse this process, it can only do so much. Cutting down your sugar intake and stimulating saliva flow can help promote remineralization and improve the enamel of the teeth. Consuming high-fibre fruits, vegetables, and dairy products can help prevent decay by strengthening teeth. Regular brushing with fluoride paste can help get rid of plaque and keep your teeth clean.
Visiting the dentist at least twice a year can help prevent any possible dental problems and maintain proper oral health. If you are looking for reliable dental clinic services near you, get in touch with us at Kamal Dental Clinic, a dental clinic in South Delhi.