The Consequences of Sugar on Teeth
Unfortunately, sugar and your teeth are not friends. Most people know this, but don’t know the exact reason behind this destructive friendship. Sugar itself does not cause cavities and tooth decay, it’s what happens after you eat that sweet piece of candy or cake.
Tooth Decay & Cavities
As expected, there are hundreds of bacteria living in our mouths, two to three-hundred types to be exact. A handful of those bacteria live to feed off the sugar that we consume, which is what causes tooth decay. The bacteria create harmful acids that break away the vital tooth enamel, which is the outer most layer that protects our teeth. Over a period of time, the acid can create a hole in the tooth, better known as a cavity. No cavity should ever be left untreated as it will become very painful and more serious issues will arise.
The good news is that your mouth naturally replaces the minerals that are taken by the acids. The minerals are replaced through a process called remineralization, and saliva plays a huge role in repairing the teeth because it contains minerals like calcium. Unfortunately, this process can only replace the minerals and protect your teeth for so long before the teeth are permanently affected, and cavities are formed.
A great first place to start is swapping out any type of soft drink like soda or juice and replacing it with water. Soft drinks are loaded with sugar that the plaque bacteria on our teeth love to produce acids with and attack the enamel. Consider these helpful tips when consuming sugary drinks:
- Use a straw to keep the sugar away from your teeth.
- Swish and rinse your mouth with water after drinking soda and juice
- Chew sugar-free gum
- Brush twice a day
To schedule your dental appointment, contact local Newburgh, NY dentist Dr. Michael Koumas.
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