What Are The Effects of Consuming Sugar on My Teeth?
Too much sugar can result in tooth decay. That’s not a secret to many people, but what few realize is how the tooth decay actually happens. It’s not consuming sugar that is the problem (although they can cause other health problems), the real problem is when the sits on the teeth for an extended period and has long enough to cause damage.
How Cavities Form:
Cavities form when harmful bacteria that feed on acids and sugars can multiply in the mouth and overpower the good bacteria. This bad bacteria is often able to destroy the tooth’s protective layer called the enamel. Once the protective enamel is gone, the bacteria can take hold on the tooth and infiltrate through the layers of the tooth. If left untreated it can result in tooth decay and the most extreme cases possibly tooth loss.
A Constant Battle in the Mouth:
The battle between the good and bad bacteria in the human mouth is virtually a constant one. Acids can cause demineralization of your enamel. That means that the enamel has various minerals taken out of it by the acids in the foods you eat. The good news, however, is that the process is constantly getting reversed at the same time. Saliva is a huge factor in your ability to remove the acid from your teeth before the demineralization can become severe. Saliva also carries various nutrients like phosphates and calcium that repair the damage that acids try to do to your teeth.
Remineralizing Tooth Enamel:
More than just your saliva can help you remineralize the tooth enamel you lost through the acids in your food. Cutting down on consuming sugar can also help your teeth fare better. Stimulating saliva production can help your teeth get the minerals they need to help limit demineralization in the first place. Stimulating saliva flow can also be donsugere through chewing sugarless gum as well as eating fibrous vegetables in generous amounts.
You can also supplement your calcium and phosphate supplies with foods such as cheese, yogurt, and dairy products (nonfat or low fat recommended).
Making better snack choices than those loaded with sugars and harmful acids can also help minimize your teeth’s exposure to harmful acids. Green and black teas are also great for suppressing the bad bacteria in your mouth. Adding a few cups a day to your diet can also help keep the good minerals in charge.
Encouraging children to consume healthy foods most of the time and to brush away plaque regularly can also help keep the sugars and acids they consume from harming their teeth. Ensure that children (and adults) also get regular dental cleanings (every 6 months) and ensure that they receive fluoride treatment to give them the best chance at fighting tooth decay.
While sugars can have negative effects on your teeth, a good oral care routine, regular dental visits, and a healthy diet can help minimize the damage that sugars do to your teeth. You can’t avoid consuming sugar all together (artificial or natural), but limiting the sugars in your diet can help you have a chance against tooth decay.
For further information about the effects sugars can have on your teeth, please feel free to contact us at Big Bend Orthodontics for further information or to schedule your next cleaning.