How Sugar Affects Your Teeth

We’ve all grown up hearing how sugar causes cavities. That’s actually an oversimplification. While the idea helped us understand the need to ease up on the sweets, there’s a lot more to it than that.

Do you know what sugar really does to our smiles? Dr. Michael Aiello explains.

Bacteria: Cavity-Causing Culprits

Sugar and other foods can indeed be corrosive to tooth enamel. But it’s a very specific kind of bacteria called streptococcus mutans that’s responsible for causing cavities.

These germs are found in everybody’s mouth and they are fueled by the carbohydrates we eat. In turn, they produce acid that destroys tooth enamel. The more sugar your mouth is exposed to, the more energy the bacteria get, and the more acid they release.

What’s The Key?

What this all means is that how much sugar you eat isn’t exactly the problem. The issue boils down to what kind of sugar and how often you eat it.

Sugar doesn’t just come in candy and cake and cookies. It’s also found in our favorite drinks and seemingly healthy foods like a doughy whole wheat bagel. It’s the foods that stick in our mouths longer that tend to do more damage.

For example, sipping on a sweet iced tea for an hour every day will do far more damage than eating ten chocolate bars in five minutes. It all comes down to how often those acid-producing bacteria come into contact with simple carbs.

Fight The Effects Of Sugar

To protect your smile from the effects of sugar, you’ll need excellent oral hygiene, plenty of fluoride, and a balanced diet.

Also essential is an all-star team of dental experts on your side. That’s just what you’ll get at the office of Michael J. Aiello, DDS. Here, we’ll assess your smile to determine your cavity risk and show you what you can do to reinforce your teeth against decay. Call us today to plan your visit.