One of the most common warnings dentists give is about how bad sugar is for teeth. Health advice is always changing, yet this warning still persists. Is sugar really as bad for teeth as you’ve heard? Dr. Jacob McLauchlin of Nixa, MO has some bad news: sugar is actually that bad for your teeth.
Sugar Damages Your Teeth
There’s a reason you’ve been warned against excess sugar intake: it destroys your teeth. More specifically, sugar feeds the bacteria living in your mouth, so the more sugar you consume, the more bacteria in your mouth. This bacteria forms a sticky substance on the teeth called plaque, which causes cavities. While it can be removed by brushing and flossing, sugar can accelerate this process and lead to tooth decay even with good oral hygiene.
Sugar itself is not the reason for tooth decay, but it feeds the bacteria that weaken enamel and cause cavities, so it’s important to reduce your sugar intake.
Sugar is Hiding in Most Food
Most food has sugar in it, and so do many drinks. Even fruits and vegetables have sugar, but the sugar source that dentists are concerned about is what is hiding in most processed food. Regardless of the source, sugar can still lead to tooth decay, but the process is faster with high processed food intake.
How to Help Your Teeth
We know better than anyone that completely eliminating sugar from your diet is impossible, as our bodies need the energy that sugar provides even from healthy sources like fruits and vegetables. Even dentists consume sugar! Changing the sugar source is a good first step — avoiding processed foods will help your oral health and help you maintain a healthy weight.
While regular brushing and flossing is important to your oral health, reducing sugar intake and ensuring you keep regular visits with your dentist are your tickets to healthy teeth and gums. To keep plaque and tooth decay under control, make sure you’re keeping your appointments with Dr. McLauchlin. To make your appointment, call 417-725-3200 or request an appointment online.