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Is Sugar the Culprit? Facts About Sugar & Oral Health

added on: January 3, 2017

sugar cubes and spoon

More than likely, you’ve been told your entire life that sugar is bad for your teeth. And while it’s true that excessive sugar can be damaging to your dental health, it is still essential to most diets (in moderation, of course). So if you’re wondering if sugar is the culprit of your cavities, plaque build-up, and other oral health issues, there are a few things our dental team want you to know.

It’s Unhealthy to Avoid ALL Sugar

First of all, understand that sugar is found naturally in a lot of foods that are actually quite good for you, including fruits. For this reason, it is not practical to avoid all sources of sugar in your diet, though you should do your best to avoid sources of added sugar. Particularly sugary foods and drinks to avoid for your oral (and overall) health include soft drinks, energy drinks, and candy.

Sugar Can Wear Away Tooth Enamel

The biggest danger of sugar when it comes to your oral health is that it causes tooth decay. Specifically, this can occur when sugar reacts with the bacteria naturally found in your mouth to create an acid. This acid, in turn, can wear away the protective enamel of your teeth and make you more prone to tooth decay. And cavities, if left untreated, can eventually progress into more serious dental problems, such as a painful abscess.

You Can Protect Your Teeth

Aside from cutting back on your sugar intake and brushing/flossing regularly, there are plenty of steps you can take to protect your teeth from sugar’s damaging effects. Consider using a daily fluoride mouth wash (if you’re not doing so already) and drinking plenty of water – especially in between meals when you may not be able to brush your teeth.

And, of course, keep up with your dental cleanings and exams to remove plaque build-up! Make sure you’re visiting Caring Smiles every six month for your routine appointments. Dr. Allen and our entire team want to make sure your smile stays bright and beautiful all year long. Call today to schedule!