Humans love sweet treats. Sweets and desserts are high in sugar content. Sugar is the main culprit causing tooth decay. Even though sugar is known to increase energy levels, it can be equally harmful.
3 Ways Sugar Impacts Teeth
There are three ways sugar impacts teeth:
Sugar Attracts Bacteria
The bacteria present in your mouth feed off of sugar. The two destructive bacteria present in the mouth are Streptococcus mutans and Streptococcus sorbrinus. When these bacteria consume sugar, they release acids that diminish the enamel layer. Along with creating enamel-eating acids, sugar attracts the bacteria that cause gingivitis and gum disease. These diseases can weaken the protective tissues holding your teeth in place and cause your gums to recede from your teeth.
Sugar & Plaque Lower The Ph Level In Mouth
Plaque build-up lowers the pH level of your mouth. The normal pH level of the mouth is between 6.2 and 6.7. If the pH level drops below this range, plaque can increase as your mouth gets more acidic. This is dangerous because acidity can erode the minerals in your teeth.
Sugar Increases Your Risk Of Tooth Decay
Excess sugar attracts bacteria, which increases plaque development. This increases the risk of dental carries, small areas of eroded teeth. Dental carriers can become cavities when the erosion grows into a hole.
Sneaky Sources Of Sugar
It is important to identify all sources of sugar. Some sneaky sources of sugar are:
- Breakfast cereals
- Commercial bread
- Flavored milk
- Energy bars and drinks
- Condiments, such as ketchup and salad dressings.
- Flavored yogurt
- High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)
Tips To Decrease Sugar Intake
Cutting off sugar from your diet is not the most intelligent step you can take. It makes more sense to limit sugar intake. Some ways to restrain sugar consumption are:
- Eat fresh fruits and vegetables
- Check and compare labels for the lowest sugar content
- Decrease drinking sodas
- Make simple salad dressings at home
- Brush teeth with flavorless toothpaste
The Bottom Line
If left unchecked and untreated, sugar can boost plaque build-up. This can develop into dental emergencies like tooth decay and abscess. Regular dental cleaning and exams (link in service) offered by dentists can remove bacteria from your mouth. Practicing a good dental hygiene routine and checking your sugar consumption along with a healthy lifestyle can help you win the battle against tooth decay.