For most of us, having a healthy smile that we can show off everywhere and at any time without worrying about bad teeth is a dream come true. Healthy, shining teeth help boost people’s self-esteem and confidence by encouraging them to communicate and socialize without being self-conscious about their teeth or oral health. However, several risks to your teeth might impede your efforts to get bright and white teeth. One of these threats is the chain of events that begins with sugar consumption.
If you have a sugar tooth, you have undoubtedly wondered why your teeth hurt when you consume sweets and if sugar is bad for you or not. Well, your toothache is not caused by sugar because sugar itself is not detrimental to your teeth. However, it acts as a catalyst for other threats to grow in your mouth and wreak havoc on the health of your teeth, gums, and mouth by developing cavities.
Your mouth naturally includes more than 70 different species of bacteria, some of which are harmless and usually serve beneficial purposes. In contrast, others are toxic and aim to destroy your dental health. As a result, your mouth becomes a constant battleground between these bacteria.
High sugar consumption in any form or shape sets off a chain reaction in your mouth, which is where the danger starts. As a result, once harmful bacteria come into contact with sugar, acid is produced in your mouth, and the demineralization process begins. During this process, acids damage your tooth enamel, a firm, shiny, white outer coating of your teeth that covers the underlying tissues. As a result, minerals like calcium phosphate are lost from dental enamel, leaving the dentin exposed to heat, cold, acidic, and sticky foods, stimulating the nerves and cells inside the tooth, causing agonizing pain and discomfort.
Fortunately, you have a natural preventive mechanism against demineralization known as saliva. Saliva reverses demineralization damage by neutralizing acids, establishing a protective layer on the tooth surface, and promoting remineralization by naturally providing calcium, phosphate, and fluoride to enamel and dentin.
However, when you consume a lot of sugar, more acid is produced, which is too much for your saliva to handle, resulting in a gradual loss of minerals. The intensity of acid attacks damages the hard and shining covering of the tooth enamel over time, causing various dental and oral health issues.
When the damaging types of bacteria come into contact with sugar, they develop plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that regularly grows on the surface of the teeth. As plaque accumulates on the surface of teeth due to poor dental hygiene, the acidic level in the mouth rises, disturbing the pH balance of your saliva and mouth.
Your mouth has a pH level that you must maintain to maintain a healthy equilibrium, just like your body and blood do. However, an imbalance arises when you consume too many sugary items and have too much acid in your mouth.
When plaque pH falls below 5.5, the acidity demineralizes dental enamel. This pH difference also causes various dental health issues, eventually causing discomfort and draining your bank account because most dental health treatments are costly.
If you do not watch your sugar intake, whether in solid or liquid form, you will most likely develop many dental disorders besides other health issues.
The two most frequent dental health concerns related to a high sugar intake are:
As previously stated, sugar and its chain reactions cause one of the most prevalent dental disorders, tooth decay. Acid attacks on the tooth’s more rigid surface caused by a combination of factors, including bacteria in your mouth, poor tooth cleaning, excessive snacking, and the consumption of sugary drinks, accelerate this process.
Tooth decay is a prevalent and easily avoidable dental disease. Nonetheless, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 13.2 percent of children aged 5 to 19 have untreated dental caries, while adults aged 20 to 44 have a slightly higher rate of 25.9.
High consumption of sugary foods and beverages, whether natural or processed, can cause dental caries, which commonly develop into a tooth abscess. A tooth abscess is a pus-filled pocket caused by a bacterial infection. You could lose a tooth if left untreated, as an abscess is a severe and life-threatening dental infection.
Sugar is not only detrimental to your teeth, but it is also bad for your general health because it can disturb blood glucose levels and cause Type 2 diabetes, obesity, cancer, and heart disease.
Now that you are aware of all the reasons sugar is terrible for your teeth, it is essential to understand that as much as you crave sugary snacks all the time, they should only be indulged in occasionally. While it is reasonable that you cannot just quit eating sugar, you can strive to reduce your frequent use of it.
Though it is well known that natural sugar can be found in vegetables, fruits, and honey, it is not often understood that crisps, chips, and cookies are also very high in sugar, primarily in processed form. Any amount of processed sugar is harmful to your teeth and overall health. So it is time to reduce your sugar intake by cutting down on:
These foods include white processed sugar, which can remain on your teeth for an extended period primarily because it is too sticky for saliva to wash away.
Sugary drinks damage your teeth since they tend to stay in your mouth for an extended period and usually have other ingredients that intensify their damaging effects.
Sports drinks are also harmful to your teeth. Even though they are marketed as fitness beverages, they contain up to 13 teaspoons of sugar, more than what a regular can of Coca-Cola contains.
Excess sugar should be avoided regularly because it harms your teeth, oral health, and general health.
Sugar can be found lurking at the root of practically every dental health problem. It starts a chain reaction that ruins your oral environment and turns it into a battleground. To battle the dangers of sugar, limit your sugar intake and take extra care of your teeth anytime you consume a small amount of sugar.
Anderson Lake Dental Clinic is well-known for treating dental cavities and tooth decay caused by high sugar intake. If you or someone you love is suffering from dental or oral health problems, make an appointment with us. Take advantage of our high-quality dental treatments.