Is Sugar Really Bad For Your Teeth?

Dentists have been warning us about the dangers of sugar to our teeth for decades, but health information is always changing. One day something is bad and the next it’s good, so could that be true for sugar and our teeth, too? Dr. Freano of Lexington, KY has some bad news for you: sugar is really as bad for your teeth as you’ve been told.

Sugar Damages Your Teeth

There’s a reason dentists warn against excessive sugar intake: it destroys your teeth. Everything we eat leaves residue on our teeth, combining with naturally-occurring oral bacteria. This residue builds up throughout the day or even during sleep, and the only way to remove it is to brush it away with toothpaste and a toothbrush. If left untreated, plaque will destroy the hard outer layer of the teeth called the enamel, causing tooth decay.

Sugar feeds oral bacteria, allowing it to thrive in the mouth. Oral bacteria already eat away at tooth enamel, and feeding them sugar makes them more efficient at this. While sugar itself is not the cause of tooth decay, it accelerates oral bacteria’s ability to destroy your teeth by creating cavities and weakening enamel.

Sugar is Hiding in Most Food

Almost every food has sugar, and many drinks contain sugar as well. Even healthy foods like fruits and vegetables have sugar, but the primary culprit of American tooth decay is the sugar hiding in nearly every processed food available everywhere.

Regardless of the source, sugar can still lead to tooth decay.

How to Help Your Teeth

We know that completely eliminating sugar from your diet is impractical — even dentists consume sugar! Changing the source of your sugar is a great first step. Eating more fruits and vegetables instead of processed food will significantly reduce the amount of sugar in your mouth, and it’s better for your overall health.

Regular brushing and flossing is the best way to remove plaque from the teeth. This means brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing once a day, and keeping regular appointments with Dr. Freano.

To keep plaque and tooth decay under control, schedule a consultation with Dr. Freano today.