It’s common knowledge that sugar is bad for your teeth – sugar destroys your teeth and causes tooth decay. Proper dental health positively contributes to your mental, physical and social well-being, allowing you to enjoy all of life’s potential. Specifically, it allows you to eat, speak and socialize free of discomfort, pain, and embarrassment, the Canadian Dental Association says.
The Dangers of Sugar for Your Teeth
Your mouth is full of bacteria — many are beneficial, while others are harmful. The harmful bacteria feed on the sugar you consume and create acids that attack and damage your tooth enamel, the protective, shiny outer layer of your teeth. The acids from a bacterial infection could lead to cavities and cause holes in your teeth. Left untreated, cavities can advance past your enamel into your tooth’s deeper layers, leading to potential tooth loss and pain.
Fortunately, while the acids frequently attack your teeth, your mouth continually reverses the damage. Your mouth is in a constant state of demineralization, where acids are leeching the minerals from your tooth enamel. However, the natural remineralization process restores and strengthens your teeth once again. Your saliva plays a crucial role in this process — it contains essential minerals like phosphates and calcium, which are influential in repairing your teeth.
Sugar Attracts Bad Bacteria and Lowers Your Mouth’s pH
Sugar is like a magnet for bad bacteria. The two destructive bacteria found in the mouth are Streptococcus mutans and Streptococcus sorbrinus. Both of them feed on the sugar you eat and form dental plaque, which is a sticky, colorless film that forms on the surface of the teeth. If the plaque is not washed away by saliva or brushing, the environment in the mouth becomes more acidic and cavities may start to form.
The pH scale measures how acidic or basic a solution is, with 7 being neutral. When the pH of plaque drops below normal, or less than 5.5, the acidity starts to dissolve minerals and destroy the tooth’s enamel. In the process, small holes or erosions will form. Over time, they will become larger, until one large hole or cavity appears.
- Sugar has a direct connection to tooth decay
- After eating foods that contain sugar, these molecules combine with saliva and bacteria present in the mouth. This combination leads to plaque in the teeth
- Left on teeth, plaque can dissolve enamel, which leads to cavities
- To control bacteria and plaque on teeth, brush as soon as possible after eating
- Sugar destroys your teeth and leads to gum disease in the mouth. Once gum disease starts, it may advance if untreated
- Gum disease can advance to periodontitis, which involves both gum tissues and the bones beneath the gums
- The bacteria associated with periodontitis can travel throughout the body, invading joints, connective tissue, and organs such as the kidneys, liver, and lungs
- Gum disease can lead to coronary artery disease. Bacteria that accumulate from periodontitis can cause blood clots that clog arteries
- Marietta oral surgery may be necessary to treat advanced gum disease
- A Marietta periodontist is available to assist with advanced periodontitis
- Marietta cosmetic dentists assist patients with the appearance of teeth to resolve issues
The Different Types of Sugars
Sugar is sugar, no matter the form — including:
- Maple syrup
And, don’t let incognito sugar fool you, either. Many manufacturers use sly pseudonyms to trick you into believing they don’t pack their food with sugar. Some examples of this are:
- Corn syrup
- Carob powder
- Evaporated cane juice
- High-fructose corn syrup
- Fruit juice concentrate
No matter what form it comes in, sugar destroys your teeth and can cause cavities. Learning why sugar is bad for your teeth is a sensible start in preventing cavities.
Dentists On Washington has been named one of the best dentists in Philadelphia by multiple platforms. We take pride in our 5 Star Google Rating. We’re full-service dentistry providing Oral Care, Cosmetic Implants, Root Canals, Tooth Extraction, Invisalign Treatment, and much more in Philadelphia. We handle emergencies as well! Schedule Your Appointment.