Have a sweet tooth? We understand. As addictive as sugar is, consuming certain types of sugar and too much of it can ruin your teeth. Sugar causes an increase in acidity, which causes dissolution of the enamel and dentin of the teeth leading to cavities.
Learn more about how your diet, specifically ingestion of sugar, impacts your mouth. You won’t be sorry.
Need a nice filling to help with those cavities? You know who to call! We’re Highlands Ranch dental office that you can depend on.
Sugars: The Good and the Bad Sugars are the main culprit when it comes to dental decay. Bacteria in your mouth produce organic acids from dietary sugars that concentrate in dental plaque, the sticky whitish film that collects on surfaces of our teeth. When sugars are ingested, there is an increase in acidity, which causes dissolution of the enamel and dentin of the teeth leading to cavities.
Our modern diet contains a mix of sugars and oral bacteria can ferment all of them with more or less equal ability, with the exception of lactose (milk sugar) from which less acid is produced. However, it is important to remember that there are many varieties of sugars and the form and frequency in which they are ingested impacts oral and general health.
High Sugar/Low Fiber Diets: Refined or processed sugars are derived from two main sources: sugar cane or beets yield sucrose, the scientific name for what we know as sugar. The other big source is corn, which when processed yields high fructose corn syrup. Both these forms of sugar are devoid of nutrients. When added to our diets, they are referred to as “processed, added, or free sugars.” As you’ll see, they turn up in cake, candy, cereals, cola, cookies, and a lot more. Large quantities of either sucrose or fructose in the diet are highly cariogenic (decay-causing) and also contribute to obesity.
The fight against dental decay starts with effective oral hygiene practices, which include brushing and flossing. Other methods of tooth cleaning such as eating fibrous foods, apples, and carrots will not cleanse the tiny pits, fissures and contact areas of adjacent teeth where decay begins, but are healthier than eating sugary snacks that stick to the teeth providing reservoirs for acid production.