Dental Tips Blog

Nov
27

Does Sugar Really Give You Cavities?

You might be surprised to learn the truth about this long-held dental belief.

Sugar is harmful to teeth and is connected to the cavity-making process. But it’s not as directly related as you previously thought.

How Sugar Harms Your Teeth

Sugar fuels a certain bacteria in your mouth that thrives on carbs. This species, S. mutans, produces an acidic waste product after consuming sugar. This acid is what creates cavities.

As the germs continue feeding on sugar, they wear away tooth enamel and move into the hole. Over time, these patches of bacteria and decaying structures can reach the nerve of the tooth where it causes an abscess.

Sugar is also to blame because sweet drinks, desserts, and candies also tend to contain acids. Acidic foods like vinegar and fruit juice are notorious for wearing down and weakening enamel. After regular exposure to acids, teeth become more susceptible to decay.

Avoiding Sugar

It’s now up to you to lower your risk for cavities by limiting simple carbohydrates in your diet.

You might choose to cut out some items altogether, such as soda. However, you can still enjoy sweet things from time to time. The trick is to limit the amount of time they’re on your teeth and fueling the bacteria.

Have a sweet drink with your meal rather than sip on it afterwards. Avoid snacking. Switch processed snacks for healthy foods like nuts, fresh fruit and vegetables, sliced cheese, and whole grain crackers. These foods are less likely to lead to feed bacteria.

Above all, maintain a regular routine of brushing, flossing, and fluoride use to prevent cavities. Also don’t forget your routine check ups twice a year. Ask your dentist about other ways to reduce your tooth decay risk.

Posted on behalf of:
Pure Smiles Dentistry
2655 Dallas Highway Suite 510
Marietta, GA 30064
770.422.8776

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