Most of us grew up hearing that if we ate too many sweets, our teeth would rot out. While the graphic way we imagined this scenario may not be completely realistic, the damage of eating too much sugar can certainly cause cavities and wreak havoc on your teeth.
Good Bacteria vs. Bad Bacteria
The mouth is full of bacteria, some are good and some are not good. The good bacteria in your mouth contributes to healthy teeth, healthy gums and fresh breath. However, when the bad bacteria in your mouth outnumber the good bacteria, it can cause an increased risk of cavities, gingivitis, periodontal disease and tooth decay.
How Does Sugar Cause Cavities?
Sugary foods, such as candy and even natural sugars from fruit, cause the bacteria inside your mouth to work to break it down. However, sugar interacts with the bacteria and produces an acid that can slowly dissolve the enamel and create holes or cavities in the teeth. If not treated early, tooth decay can cause pain, infection and even tooth loss.
It is recommended that men have no more than 36 grams of added sugar per day. Women should have no more than 25 grams of added sugar per day. Everybody should work to cut added sugars from their diet completely to benefit their oral and overall health. Unfortunately, according to the American Heart Association, “American adults consume an average of 77 grams of sugar per day, more than 3 times the recommended amount for women.”
Preventing Cavities and Tooth Decay From Sugar
There are ways you can still enjoy sugar every now and then without getting cavities and possibly tooth decay. Try these tips to prevent cavities and tooth decay from sugar:
- Avoid sticky treats, such as caramels and jelly beans.
- Reduce snacking throughout the day, as it will help reduce the production of acid in the mouth
- Reduce drinking sugary beverages, such as soda and fruit juices.
- Wait to brush your teeth, as the acid can soften your tooth enamel and brushing too soon may damage the enamel while it’s in its weakened state.
Contact Abra Health
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