Every Dentist Needs Your Help Keeping Your Teeth Healthy

How Sugar Really Affects Your Oral Health

Your dentist may have told you about how sugar is bad for teeth and probably has encouraged you to reduce of limit your consumption. It is fairly well known that sugar is bad for dental health, but you may not have heard the whole story. You may not know exactly how sugar not only affects your teeth, but your entire oral health. 

Sugar and tooth decay:

Sugar has been long associated with tooth decay. Sugary treats make it easier for the bacteria to stick to the enamel and cause plaque. Hard candies can cause an even bigger problem by sticking and settling into small crevices that are difficult to reach with brushing and flossing. Not only is sugar a problem, but any type of simple carbohydrate can contribute to the increase of harmful bacteria. Some starches and fruit, especially dried fruit, are almost as bad as sugar when it comes to feeding bacteria on the teeth.

Sugar and overall oral health:

A diet that is mostly high in sugar and low in healthy foods deprives the body of much needed nutrients that repair tissue or fight off diseases and bacteria. Poor nutrition affects the lining in the mouth by affecting cell growth and replacement. Gums can be affected by the excess plaque that sugar causes as well as the increased acidity in the mouth. Diseases such as diabetes, which is also affected by sugar and other simple carbohydrates, can also increase the risk of problems in the mouth. Diabetics are more prone to infections and gum disease to to the diseases effects on the immune system. Sugar can also cause health issues, such as obesity, which can contribute to cardiovascular disease that can also affect the mouth.

Preventing damage from sugar:

Brushing after each meal, reducing consumption of sugary foods and seeing your dentist regularly is standard advice for warding off problems with sugar-caused plaque. If you must eat sugary foods, try a stick of sugar-free gum after you're done. Sugar-free gum stimulates the salivary glands and helps wash sugars out of the mouth. It also helps pick up some of the sugar left on the teeth. Even though some fruits can cause a problem with plaque, many fresh, fibrous fruits can actually help in the same way as sugar-free gum by increasing saliva flow.

Sugar does more than just contribute to weight gain and diabetes, it has the potential to cause substantial issues with your teeth and mouth. If you're having problems with your teeth, such a tooth pain and swelling around the gums, talk to your dentist. Be sure to keep your dentist up-to-date on any health issues and changes in your diet.

About Me

Every Dentist Needs Your Help Keeping Your Teeth Healthy

When I was a child and teenager, I always left the dentist's office with the great feeling of having no cavities. When I went away to college out-of-state, I had to switch to a new dentist in my area. It seemed like I was suddenly getting cavities and started wonder what my new dentist "was doing wrong". When I spoke to my mother about it, she reminded me that the reason I never had cavities when I was living it home was because she always made sure my siblings and I brushed and flossed daily and didn't eat too much sugar. I then realized that my late-night study sessions drinking sugary soda and my suddenly bad brushing habits were the true causes of my cavities. I have since learned a lot more about dental health I am eager to share with anyone who needs the advice!


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