You’ve been hearing since you were a kid trying to eat one too many candies… sugar is bad for your teeth. If you’re a parent, you must have repeated this phrase to your kids as a reflex. However, have you ever wondered how sugar actually affects your teeth?
You may be surprised to learn, but sugar can harm your teeth in more than one way.
Your mouth is full of bacteria. While some of these are actually good for your oral health, others – not so much. The harmful bacteria in your mouth feed on the sugar and carbohydrates you consume, also known as starches. When starches combine with the bacteria, an acid is created that can further turn into bacterial infections.
There are two main consequences of bacterial infections:
One of the most common side effects of eating too much sugar on your teeth is tooth decay. When the sugar molecules combine with saliva and the harmful bacteria, it can lead to plaque formation on teeth. Plaque that has been building up for a certain period of time due to the teeth constantly being exposed to sugar can travel to deeper layers of your teeth. This can create a hole in your tooth, causing excruciating pain, lead to cavities, and may possibly cause tooth loss.
Excessive consumption of sugar can also lead to periodontitis or gum disease. Once you develop gum disease, it needs to be treated immediately, or it can quickly advance.
So, remember that ‘sugar will rot away your teeth’ is not just an old wives’ tale. In fact, sugar is one of the most common things that cause oral health issues. Therefore, it is important to keep your consumption to the minimum.
If you notice that your teeth or gums are getting damaged due to overconsumption of sugar – or for any other reason – visit a dentist immediately. If you reside in Wichita, KS, consider visiting Auburn Family Dental.