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How Sugar Affects Your Teeth

A+ A- Different types of sugar

It's been ingrained in our brains ever since we were little kids: Sugar is bad for our teeth. In fact, this is such a common piece of information that most people don't even question it anymore. Instead, they just mindlessly pass it on to future generations the same way it was passed on to them.

However, have you ever stopped and wondered what really happens when you consume sugar? Is it actually that bad for you, or is it just an old wives' tale?

How Does Sugar Affect Your Teeth?

You may be surprised to learn, but sugar itself doesn't harm your teeth – it is the chain of events that is caused in your mouth when you consume sugar that can wreak havoc on the health of your teeth.

The mouth is filled with a wide variety of bacteria. While some of these are good for you, others can be extremely harmful to your oral health.

Whenever there is sugar in your mouth, a select group of bacteria starts producing an acid. These acids attack the minerals that make up the tooth's enamel in a process known as demineralization.

However, your mouth works really hard to reverse the damage caused by this harmful group of bacteria. As you consume sugar, you produce more saliva through the process of remineralization. Your saliva contains minerals such as phosphate and calcium. Along with fluoride from toothpaste and water, it helps the enamel repair itself.

However, the consistent cycle of these acid attacks can cause you to lose the volume of minerals in the enamel significantly. This can destroy the enamel and result in a cavity in the long run.

A cavity is basically a hole in the teeth, which is a result of tooth decay. This entire process is caused due to the harmful bacteria that react with sugar and produce harmful acids.

To protect your teeth from this damage, it is important to reduce the amount of sugar you consume as much as possible. Better yet, cut processed sugar out of your diet entirely and try to get your sweet tooth satisfied by natural sugar, such as the one found in fruits.

 

Posted on Jan 24, 2022
Image Credit:

File ID 34714728 | © Marazem | Dreamstime.com

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