Why Is Sugar Bad For Your Teeth?

In Dentistry by Ian Izaguirre0 Comments

A nutritious and well-balanced diet is the first pre-requisite for maintaining great oral health. Nutrients required by the teeth and gums to fight infections and diseases are supplied by the food you eat, and if you do not make the right food choices there’s every chance that your oral health will suffer.

Talking of right food choices, one can always make a start by cutting down on sugars in food. Sugars have always been the archenemy of healthy teeth and gums. As a natural part of the food we eat, sugars adversely affect oral health.

How Sugars Lead To Oral Diseases

Sugar present in foods and sweet snacks is hydrolyzed by an enzyme, known as salivary amylase in the mouth. Once this action is complete it provides a substrate, or in simple terms a fertile breeding ground, for oral bacteria. The bacteria release acids that can attack and erode the outer layer of your tooth or enamel, causing cavities. The bacteria can also produce toxins that can irritate your gums and result in gum (periodontal) disease.

Other Factors that Help Sugars in Causing Dental Caries

A lot of other factors can aid and assist sugars to weaken teeth and gums. The process of formation of caries is accelerated by long periods of exposure to sweet snacks. Consuming sugars during meals has been found to be a lot safer than between meals. This means that during all those times when you were having candy and chocolate breaks at work, your teeth and gums were preparing to fight oral bacteria. Not following basic practices of oral hygiene can definitely lead to a few more visits to the dentist.

donuts

Sweet Food and Beverages That You Should Be Careful With

Sugar in foods is the cause behind demineralization of teeth, and the principal agent of dental caries and other oral diseases. Some sweet food, snacks and beverages are more detrimental to your oral health than others. It’s advised that you consume the following in moderate quantities:

Sweet Snacks
Candies, regular chewing gums, cakes (yes, even your favorite flavor!), cookies, brownies or any other confectionery that’s packed with sugars can wreck your oral health.

Sticky Sweet Food And Snacks
Caramel, honey, jellybeans, raisins and other such substances by sticking to the teeth provide more time for oral bacteria to act on teeth and gums.

Carbonated Drinks
These tend to have sugar in high amounts, and contain acids that erode tooth enamel.

Energy/Sports Drinks
These are as harmful as carbonated drinks.

Show Article Sources
“Why Is Sugar Bad For Your Teeth”
Sugar mouth: Emi Iemai via Compfight cc.
Donuts: Mark Klotz via Compfight cc.

“Why Is Sugar Bad For Your Teeth”
“http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/78/4/881S.full”
“http://www.odha.on.ca/drupal/system/files/pdf/NutritionF.pdf”

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