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Why is Sugar Bad for Your Teeth?

July 21, 2022

Filed under: Uncategorized — willowgrovedentist @ 5:56 am
A spoonful of sugar that impacts oral health

Most people today are aware on some level that sugar hurts your teeth and gums. You often hear about it from dentists, parents, nutritionists, and countless others. However, not as many are aware of how and to what extent the processed carb does dental damage. Are its effects bad enough that you should just swear off it altogether? To learn the answer to this and similar questions, here’s a summary of how sugar impacts oral health by Willow Grove dentists.

How Sugar Impacts Oral Health

Technically, it isn’t sugar that harms your oral health. Rather, it’s the mouth bacteria that break the stuff down. As these microbes build up in your mouth, they cause things like:

Tooth Decay

When bacteria feed on sugar in your mouth, they create a sticky film called plaque. The latter is acidic, so it dissolves enamel as it forms on teeth. Over time, this dissolving process can lead to cavities.

Gum Disease

Sugar attracts a specific type of bacteria that causes gum infection, also known as gum disease. This infection is treatable in its early stage but destroys gum tissue and underlying bone if given time. Once the latter happens, tooth loss and other health problems become highly likely.

Should I Not Eat Sugar at All?

Processed sugar from things like candy, ice cream, potato chips, and soda should be avoided as much as possible. At the very least, exercise strong moderation.

Instead of sugar-based products, you could eat things high in fiber and protein, including:

  • Nuts, cheeses, and leafy greens that promote strong teeth
  • Fresh fruits, carrots, and celery that wick plaque and bacteria away from tooth surfaces

Plus, drink plenty of water during and after eating to create saliva and wash away residual bacteria and food particles.

If you really need that sugar fix, though, try foods with xylitol instead. The latter chemical tastes sweet but won’t lead to acid that hurts enamel. You can find it in sugar-free gums and mints.

Ultimately, your oral health is at its best when you cut down on sugary stuff. Talk to your dentist if you have other questions about how your diet can affect your teeth and gums.

About the Author

Advanced Smile Design in Willow Grove, PA, is a comprehensive dental practice. As such, its team offers preventive, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry services, not to mention emergency teeth treatments. The staff also prides itself on providing high-quality results thanks to their excellent dental technology. You can thus trust Willow Grove dentists to give you fantastic work. For more information or to book an appointment, you can reach them at their website or by phone at (215)-659-3334.

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