Does sugar cause cavities? It’s an age-old question that people don’t want the answer to. We like sugar. It makes our desserts taste great and businesses pour it into just about everything. Why? Your body will crave it and will want to go out and buy more.
It may seem like eating that cupcake isn’t a big deal, but sugar because sugar doesn’t “cause” cavities, but it makes them a lot easier to happen. Learn all about it.
Sugar, Sugar Everywhere
Sugar isn’t just sugar. There are many forms of it out there from corn syrup to fructose and sucrose. In fact, it’s rare to see “sugar” in an ingredients list and instead see one of its variations. Do you know why? People know sugar is bad, but they might not realize high fructose corn syrup is as well.
You’ll be hard pressed to find a processed food that doesn’t have some type of sugar in it. You know that soda and candy bars are filled with it, but it’s included in bread, healthy snack foods and…well just go down the grocery aisles and you’ll see what we mean.
How Sugar Impacts Teeth
A cavity is a hole in a tooth caused by the decay of tooth enamel by plaque and bacteria. You may notice that sugar is nowhere in that sentence, but wait there’s more. Your tooth enamel is strong stuff, but it’s not invincible.
There are many types of bacteria that reside in your mouth and for the most party their happy helping with food digestion and living their microbial life… until you decide to eat sugar. Sugar tastes great, it’s one of the reasons we love it. Do you know who else loves it? Bacteria.
When certain bacteria in your mouth begin eating the sugar it produces acid that can break down tooth enamel by removing important minerals. Your saliva has minerals like calcium in it to help combat and heal itself after it gets hit by acid.
When you eat too much sugar, it can’t keep up with it and your tooth enamel wears. This exposes the tooth and can create a cavity. Cavities cause pain and discomfort and eventually tooth loss.
Yes, you can give up sugar, but as we said, it’s in everything. The best way to combat cavities is to give the acid as little time as possible to settle on the teeth and demineralize the enamel. Brushing regularly and drinking water instead of sugary and acidic drinks like soda and juice can help your teeth out tremendously
Beware of sticky food as well. Foods like chips and candies that adhere to your teeth can also contribute to cavities. It’s best to brush after meals and drink plenty of water throughout the day
See Your Dentist
Don’t forget to see your dentist regularly. We can see cavities before they’re visible to you. We can correct them before the need for a root canal or extraction. Take care of your teeth, they’re the only ones you get.
Contact Dr. Ed and A Lifetime of Smiles today to set your next dental appointment.