Sugar has a bad reputation due to its potential to rot your teeth. Despite that, people still consume huge amounts of sugar each year. Although it’s somewhat understandable, as sugar tastes delicious to most people, it’s bad news for your oral health. After all, your teeth can be seriously damaged by sugar. One in three adults and one in four children suffer from tooth decay.
Need a reason to cut down on your sugar intake? Perhaps you need to know what sugar does to your oral health. Keep reading to find out more!
Sugar harms your teeth
Your mouth has natural bacteria, some good and some bad. The bad bacteria like to feed on sugar, and when they do, they release acids that leach minerals from the enamel of the tooth. This is called demineralization, which leads to tooth decay.
A low level of demineralization will not pose a significant threat to your enamel because the mouth has a remineralization process to counteract the effects. Remineralization restores the enamel of the tooth. However, your mouth will not be able to handle the constant acid attacks that can occur when you eat too many sugary foods throughout the day.
If left unattended, tooth decay will worsen and lead to other oral health problems, such as gum disease and dental abscesses. Bad oral health can also lead to cardiovascular disease, dementia, diabetes, respiratory infections, pregnancy complications, infertility, and cancer, among others. Your mouth is the main entryway to your body, and bad bacteria can easily get into the bloodstream and lead to infection and inflammation.
How to avoid the negative effects of sugar on your oral health
Drink plenty of water, which will encourage the production of saliva — something that is incredibly important to the remineralization process. Limit your intake of sugary foods and drinks, and start to read food labels to watch out for sugar content.
After you have eaten foods that are high in sugar, stop consuming more for a few hours to give the remineralization some time to run its course. Chewing sugarless gum will help you salivate and encourage remineralization. Make sure that you eat plenty of fruits and vegetables that are high in fiber. Dairy products such as cheese and yogurt contain calcium and phosphates that will help strengthen your teeth. Instead of sugary drinks like soda, take green and black teas, which contain substances that can suppress bad oral bacteria.
Practice sound oral hygiene. Rinse your mouth with water after consuming sugary foods and drinks. Brush your teeth after meals or twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and visit your dentist on the regular.
Sugar is bad for your health because it interacts with the bad bacteria in the mouth that destroys the enamel of the tooth, leading to decay. Limiting the consumption of foods and drinks that are high in sugar is one step to preventing this harmful condition. Eating healthy foods and beverages can help encourage remineralization and strengthen your teeth. Practicing healthy oral hygiene will help you keep your mouth healthy, making it possible for you to flash a strong, bright smile for years to come!
If you’re looking for a local dentist to help you with your oral health, get in touch with us today for a free consultation!