We all know that eating too much sugar can lead to weight gain and other health problems. But did you know that sugar can also seriously impact your oral health? Sugar can wreak havoc on your teeth and gums. Without proper oral hygiene, it is possible to develop many dental concerns. If you know how sugar impacts your teeth, you can take the correct steps to protect your teeth.
How Sugar Affects Your Teeth
When you eat sugar, the bacteria in your mouth feed on it and produce acid. This acid can erode the enamel on your teeth, leading to cavities and other dental problems. The more sugar you eat, the more acid your mouth produces. This means that you have a greater risk of developing tooth decay.
Sugar can also contribute to the buildup of plaque on your teeth. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that can harden into tartar. Once tartar builds on your teeth, you must consult a dental professional for removal. Tartar can then lead to gum disease. Some of the damaging effects of gum disease include bleeding gums and, eventually, tooth loss.
The Impacts of Sugar on Your Oral Health
The impacts of sugar on your oral health can be serious. Without treatment, these effects can not only ruin your oral health, but you can also experience a decline in your overall health.
One of the most common dental problems dentists see daily is cavities. A cavity is a small pit of decay in the enamel of your tooth that can cause pain and sensitivity in your teeth. They occur when acid in your mouth erodes the surface of your enamel. Unfortunately, the acid is a by-product of sugar and the bacteria that naturally live in your mouth.
Another issue that can begin as a result of sugar is gum disease. Gum disease is an infection of the gums, typically resulting from plaque buildup. In its early stages, gum disease causes bleeding gums and inflammation. Over time, you can experience gum recession and tooth loss.
A minor concern with sugar and or oral health is bad breath. Sugar can contribute to bad breath by promoting the growth of bacteria in your mouth.
Preventing the Impacts of Sugar on Your Oral Health
Fortunately, you can take steps to reduce sugar’s impact on your oral health.
The best way to prevent the impact of sugar on your oral health is to limit your sugar intake. This includes sugary snacks, desserts, and drinks like soda and juice. Instead, swap your sugary foods with veggies like carrots or celery.
Another way to minimize the damage from sugar is to brush and floss your teeth regularly. Dentists recommend that you brush your teeth twice a day and floss daily. As a result, this can help reduce the amount of plaque on your teeth and prevent cavities.
Additionally, regular dental checkups are essential for maintaining good oral health. Your dentist can detect and treat dental problems before they become more serious.
Finally, your water intake is another way to reduce the impact of sugar. Drinking water can help flush sugar and bacteria from your mouth to prevent tooth decay.