Some of your favorite foods and beverages contain an excess of sugar. Even foods you may not initially suspect, such as white bread and pasta, cause blood sugar levels to rise quickly. An ongoing diet that is too high in sugar causes many common dental problems. Here are three ways sugar is impacting your teeth.
A variety of bacteria reside in your mouth regardless of your oral hygiene. Good bacteria help to keep pH levels healthy. However, bad bacteria are also present and can multiply under certain circumstances. Sugar is one of the top causes of the growth of harmful bacteria. Plaque-causing bacteria feed on sugar and cause plaque to harden on the surfaces of your teeth more quickly.
Without daily brushing, flossing, and twice-yearly dental checkups, plaque eventually hardens into tartar, which often leads to gum disease.
Increased Risk of Infection
Just as sugar feeds plaque production, it also makes you vulnerable to developing periodontal disease, which is commonly referred to as gum disease. Unchecked, the harmful bacteria that thrive on sugar can lead to an infected gum line, which often affects surrounding teeth. Gum disease can cause tooth and bone loss in the area of infection if left untreated for too long.
People of all ages are vulnerable to tooth decay that results from sugar overconsumption. Overly-sweet beverages such as soda and fruit juice are especially likely to add to the problem. Unlike solid foods, liquid washes over every part of your mouth, depositing sugar in hard-to-brush areas of your mouth.
As bad bacteria multiply, they can weaken tooth enamel and cause cavities. If left undetected for too long, cavities can reach the center pulp of the tooth. Advanced decay can cause a tooth to need root canal therapy or extraction if it is too damaged.
While sugar in moderation is okay, most of a healthy diet should include healthy foods such as vegetables, fruits, fish, and poultry. Brushing directly after drinking or eating sugary drinks or foods helps to prevent harmful bacteria from damaging your teeth.
The health risks of excessive sugar consumption affect not only your general health but also the condition of your teeth. Many oral health concerns are preventable with a healthy diet, a consistent at-home oral care routine, and a professional cleaning twice per year.
When you are ready to book a cleaning or checkup, contact us at Brend Dental today to set up an appointment.