How Sugar Affects Your Teeth
For as long as we can remember, we have been constantly reminded about the potentially harmful effects of overconsumption of sugar. As kids, it can be rather difficult to avoid sugar, considering many of your typical grocery store snacks, candies, and cereals are loaded with grams of sugar. But how exactly does sugar cause havoc in our mouths?
Dental Bacteria: The Good and the Bad
First, we have to understand how bacteria comes into play when discussing your dental hygiene and overall health. It’s normal for there to be harmless bacteria around your mouth, with some bacteria even beneficial to your dental hygiene!
However, when you ingest sugar, the breakdown process begins to produce acid that strips your teeth of enamel and causes decay. Over time, if consumed in mass quantities, it can begin to eat away at your teeth greatly. This leads to those dreaded cavities or holes in our teeth we may have encountered in our early years.
Symptoms of Cavities
- Increased dental sensitivity to hot or cold foods
- Intense toothache
- Pain when chewing or consuming food
- Potential tooth loss
The acidic bacteria stemming from sugar are known as Streptococcus mutans and Streptococcus sorbrinus, which cause dental plaque to form on your teeth. Over time, your mouth will become more acidic, causing rapid tooth decay. If those cavities have degraded your teeth significantly, they may require fillings to avoid further damage to your mouth.
Tips to Avoid Cavity Formation:
- Regulate your sugar consumption
- Avoid high-sugar foods & drinks
- Practice consistent oral hygiene
- Consult with your dentist and have routine check-ups
Maintaining our dental health is key to maintaining our overall well-being and general health. If you have experienced a recent toothache or would like to have a check-up on your current dental health, we highly recommend scheduling an exam with our highly-trained dental team.