It is common knowledge that sugar causes tooth decay. Sugar on its own is not the enemy, but it is what happens in our mouth after we consume too much sugar?
What Happens When We Consume Sugar?
Your mouth alone is a home to 700 different species of bacteria. Some are beneficial to your oral health, while others are harmful.
The harmful bacteria produces acid when they encounter and digest sugar. This acid will strip minerals from your tooth enamel.
Weakened tooth enamel will cause tooth sensitivity, discoloration, cavities, and will make your teeth more prone to chips and breaks.
Sugar also lowers your mouth’s pH, making it more acidic. When the pH in your mouth drops below 5.5 the acidity begins to dissolve the beneficial minerals and destroy the tooth’s enamel.
This causes small holes or erosions in your teeth, which over time will lead to cavities.
Your Mouth is a Natural Defense System Against Sugar
Your saliva plays a crucial role in the natural remineralization process which helps to restore and strengthen your teeth. It contains essential minerals like phosphates and calcium, which continuously help to protect your teeth.
Fluoride also helps to repair damaged and weak tooth enamel.
The bad news is that if you’re eating a lot of starches and sweets every day, there’s only so much the remineralization process can do to prevent the effect sugar has on your teeth.
It’s crucial that you do your part by limiting how much sugar you consume, so your mouth can do its natural job of repairing the damage and maintaining healthy teeth.
Don’t Let the Hidden Sugar Fool You
Sugar is sugar no matter what name the food manufacturers use on the label.
Limit the consumption of natural sugars such as:
- Maple Syrup
While also avoiding the hidden offenders:
- Corn syrup
- Carob powder
- Evaporated cane juice
- High-fructose corn syrup
No matter what form sugar comes in, too much of it will cause cavities. The best thing you can do for your health is to learn why too much sugar is bad for your teeth, and make healthy choices that prioritize both your oral health, and your overall health.