Sugar is essential in our daily food intake, but we also know that excess sugar can cause a number of health issues, including being extremely harmful for your teeth. We know that a lot of sugary food can lead to toothache and cavities, but sugar is the number one enemy of your teeth! It is not just eating a sugary substance, but rather the entire chain of events that follow which can be extremely harmful to your teeth! Sugary foods along with poor dental care can lead to excessive bacteria which then leads to plaque, cavity and tooth decay.
Types of Sugar
Most people think it’s the regular table sugar found in every household that mainly causes oral trouble. But the truth is, harmful sugar can be found in many different forms in many different food items and they can be equally detrimental and responsible for decay or corrosion in teeth.
Sucrose – this is the most common form of sugar (the regular white sugar we use) and also the most well known one owing to its contribution in candy and chocolates. Sucrose is the sweetest kind of sugar and is commonly extracted from maple, sugar beet and sugar cane. It earns its’ title as the most harmful type of sugar because the bacteria which affect our oral hygiene easily converts sucrose into a substance that increases plaque and helps it stick to your teeth, thus making it difficult to get proper protection by brushing or flossing.
Fructose – this is generally the less harmful form of sugar, which is mostly found in fruits, melons, corns and root vegetables like sweet potato and beetroot. Although fructose is not very harmful due to the remarkable low sugar content in these forms, fructose is often condensed to form syrups and artificial sweeteners which are much more potentially harmful for your teeth. These are cheap and thus widely common but can lead to cavities and tooth decay easily.
Glucose, Maltose and Lactose – Glucose is the supplier of energy in our body which breaks down other food and sugar into glucose to extract energy. Although naturally found in the body, excess glucose can combine with other sugars like sucrose, and can make it a potent threat. Maltose, commonly found in cereals, breads etc. and lactose found in milk and other dairy products like cheese, yogurt etc. are other types of sugar we consume daily.
How Does Sugar Cause Cavity and Tooth Decay?
Certain types of bacteria exist in our mouth that are beneficial for the entire oral eco-system we have. But some of these can feed on food stuck in between teeth and gums and form plaque. Oral plaque is basically a white substance that sticks to the exterior of your teeth, which is formed by bacteria from these food particles. Sugar or sugary food reacts with saliva and these bacteria to produce a kind of acid, which gradually corrodes and eats away the enamel (outer protective cover) of your teeth. Cavities are basically holes formed in the teeth by the effect of this acid. If not treated and taken care of, cavities can eventually lead to tooth decay, painful toothaches and possibly loss of your teeth. Moreover, lack of proper oral hygiene significantly increases the growth of such bacteria, thus leading to more cavities and increased tooth decay!
Stop Sugar from Damaging Your Teeth!
Sugar intake is essential for healthy body functions and to provide sufficient energy for our body. But one should limit the sugar intake to a bare minimum and also try consuming the kind of sugar that is less damaging to your teeth. Reducing your sugar intake is not an easy task because chocolates, candies, cakes and other such sweet products are readily available at your fingertips! Cutting down intake of such products while increasing eating healthy, fresh food can go a long way to reduce the risks of tooth decay! The trick here is all about balance!
Proper dental care is essential to maintain healthy teeth! Brush and floss your teeth twice daily to ensure you remove any plaque formation and also tiny sugary food particles stuck in your teeth. This will go a long way to reduce your risk of plaque and tooth decay! There is no substitute to proper oral hygiene! Also, it is essential to visit your dentist every 6 months to get a thorough cleaning and check up. These actions will go a long way to promote healthy teeth and keep your teeth cavity free! Our team of dental professionals at HSM Dental Group will be happy to help you keep your teeth in beautiful condition! Call our office at (561) 232-2070 and let our professional team at HSM Dental Group help get you on your way to incredibly healthy teeth!