What are the Effects of Sugar on Teeth?
by Dr. Beau Beecher, DDS on 12/18/2018
If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times: Sugar is bad for your teeth. Too much sugar can lead to tooth decay, but it is important to understand that sugar does not act alone. Eating sugar kickstarts a chain of events that can have a negative effect on your oral health.
The bacteria that lives in your mouth
You may or may not be aware that your mouth is home to hundreds of bacteria, some of which are beneficial to your oral health. But there is also harmful bacteria present, which feed on sugar and create acids that work to break down the enamel of your teeth.
The bacterial infection from the acids will often lead to the development of a cavity in your tooth. Left untreated, the cavity can spread beyond the enamel and into the deeper layers. This can cause considerable pain and even result in the loss of a tooth.
How to remineralize tooth enamel
So how can you reverse the damage to your teeth? There is actually a natural process in place called remineralization that replaces the minerals the acids remove from your teeth, allowing them to rebuild and restore their strength. Your saliva, which contains calcium and phosphates that help repair teeth, is a key part of this process.
Fluoride is a mineral that can both prevent tooth decay and help reverse its effects, at least in the early stages. All Kimball & Beecher offices offer professional fluoride treatments, but you can also inquire about prescription toothpaste that helps remineralization.
More than anything, limiting your sugar intake is the most effective method for preventing harmful bacteria from having a negative impact on your oral health.