How Sugar Affects Your Oral Health

family dentist sterling virginiaMost of us know that dentists always talk about sugar being bad for teeth. But is it true? Health advice changes all the time, but one thing we do know for certain is that sugar increases the chance of tooth decay and gum disease. Dr. Datta Malyavantham and his team of experienced dentists at Ridgetop Dental have more information for you about how sugar affects your oral health.

Sugar Feeds Oral Bacteria

Sugar feeds oral bacteria, which destroy tooth enamel. Oral bacteria already eat away at tooth enamel, and feeding them sugar makes them more efficient at this. While sugar itself is not the cause of tooth decay, it accelerates oral bacteria’s ability to destroy your teeth by creating cavities and weakening enamel.

Everything we eat leaves residue on our teeth, combining with naturally-occurring oral bacteria. This residue builds up throughout the day or even during sleep, and the only way to remove it is to brush it away with toothpaste and a toothbrush. If left untreated, plaque will destroy the hard outer layer of the teeth called the enamel, causing tooth decay.

Sugar is Hiding in Most Food

Almost every food has sugar, and many drinks contain sugar as well. Even healthy foods like fruits and vegetables have sugar, but the primary culprit of American tooth decay is the sugar hiding in nearly every processed food available everywhere.

Regardless of the source, sugar can still lead to tooth decay.

How to Help Your Teeth

We know that completely eliminating sugar from your diet is impractical — even dentists consume sugar! Changing the source of your sugar is a great first step. Eating more fruits and vegetables instead of processed food will significantly reduce the amount of sugar in your mouth, and it’s better for your overall health.

Regular brushing and flossing is the best way to remove plaque from the teeth. This means brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing once a day, and keeping regular appointments with Dr. Datta. To keep plaque and tooth decay under control, schedule your appointment with Ridgetop Dental today.

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