How Does Sugar Hurt Your Teeth?

Close up of a woman holding a sugar cube between her teeth in her mouth.

As tasty as our favorite sugary foods and beverages are, they can not only harm your overall health but the condition of your teeth. If you eat a lot of sugar, you may have heard comments from your dentist about taking better care of your teeth because it’s true; sugar leaves lasting, negative effects on your mouth.

Take a look at the various ways eating lots of sugary foods and drinks harms your oral health:

Tooth Decay

Cavities, also known as tooth decay, are permanently damaged areas on your teeth’s hard surfaces that create tiny holes or openings. Sugary foods that cling to your teeth are more likely to cause cavities and decay than other foods that easily wash away. 

The sugar molecules in your mouth combine with saliva and bacteria, which create plaque buildup on the surface of your teeth. When plaque is left alone, the tooth’s enamel, or protective layer, begins to dissolve, and tooth decay begins.

Bad Bacteria 

Every mouth is filled with various kinds of bacteria. While it’s mostly good, sugar acts as a magnet for harmful bacteria in your mouth. The two most destructive forms of bacteria in your Mouth are Streptococcus mutans and Streptococcus sorbrinus. Both of these combine with sugar molecules to form plaque and harm your teeth, especially if left uncleaned. 

Lower Mouth pH

The pH scale is used to measure how acidic or basic a solution is, on a scale of 0 to 14, with 0 being the most acidic and 14 being the most basic. When the pH level of plaque drops below normal levels, 5.5, the acidity dissolves the minerals and tooth enamel, leading to tooth decay.

Don’t forget to get regular cleanings with your dentist to prevent tooth decay from occurring!

Dentist in Fairfield Connecticut

If you are worried about tooth decay, how sugar impacts your oral health, need a cleaning, or are experiencing any dental problems, give Fairfield Dental Arts a call at (203) 254-3780. Our team of dental experts is here to help you!

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