How Does Sugar Affect the Teeth?

sugar and oral health

In today’s world of information overload from all directions at our fingertips on the internet, it’s hard to know what to believe. One day you may read that something is bad for your health and while another expert elsewhere on the internet is telling you that’s really nothing to worry about or even that it’s good for you. Could this also be true when it comes to the warnings about the effects of sugar on our teeth, too? 

 Dr. Nish Patel of Manatee Advanced Dentistry in  Bradenton, FL has some bad news for you: sugar is just as bad for your teeth as you’ve been told.

Sugar Damages Your Teeth

There’s a perfectly valid reason dentists across the world warn against excessive sugar intake: it destroys your teeth. Every food we eat leaves behind particles that can combine with our saliva to form plaque — a clear, sticky substance on our teeth. The natural oral bacteria that live in our mouths like to feed on this plaque. 

Only regular brushing (at least 2x daily), flossing (at least 1x daily) and dental check-ups (at least 1x every 6 months) can remove this plaque. If allowed to flourish unchecked, the bacteria will eat through not only the plaque but down through the enamel too, causing tooth decay.

Eating too much sugar will allow the oral bacteria to efficiently and ruthlessly destroy your precious enamel. Therefore, although sugar itself is not the cause of tooth decay, it ramps up the oral bacteria’s ability to destroy your teeth by creating cavities and weakening enamel.

Sugar is Hiding in Most Food

Most foods have some form of sugar, and many drinks contain sugar too. Even healthy foods like fruits and vegetables contain sugar, but the primary cause of tooth decay for Americans is the sugar hiding in most processed foods — cookies, cakes — that are available everywhere. However, regardless of whether the sugar is natural or added, it can still eat away at our enamel and cause tooth decay.

How to Help Your Teeth

Dr. Patel knows that completely eliminating sugar from your diet is impractical — even dentists like something sweet once in awhile! However, changing where you get your sugar is a great first step. Eating more fruits and vegetables instead of processed food can significantly reduce the amount of sugar in your mouth while still allowing you the taste of something sweet, and it’s better for your overall health too.

Regular brushing and flossing is the best way to prevent sugar from helping tooth decay gain a foothold in your mouth. This means brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing once a day, and keeping regular appointments with Dr. Patel. To keep plaque and tooth decay under control, schedule a consultation with Manatee Advanced Dentistry today by calling 941.209.4315 or contact us online.


507 50th Street
W Bradenton, FL 34209

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