Dentists have dutifully reminded us over and over again that sugary food and drinks are bad for our teeth. And they are not wrong because we have all experienced having painful toothaches or rotten teeth. But if that is the case, shouldn’t we bid sugar goodbye and say good riddance to sweet treats?
The answer is no: sugar is not necessarily the culprit for this problem, but rather the process that takes place after you eat sweets. Indeed, the devil is in the details. Here is a quick summary on how sugar affects your teeth.
Wonders inside the mouth
The human mouth is home to hundreds of bacteria (which is not exactly a bad thing). It is natural for your body to have its own ecosystem. We get it as early as we are born and no, we cannot get rid of it entirely. Most of them do no harm, although you can manage bacteria growth with good oral care.
The cause of cavities
Here is the real meat of the matter: cavities. When we eat, there is a residue left behind (whether it be sugar or starch) that is fed on by bad bacteria. These harmful strains of bacteria produce acids that remove minerals from the tooth enamel. However, this is normal since it is part of a process called demineralisation.
The danger of demineralisation
Demineralisation kickstarts with harmful bacteria generating acids to erode minerals. These minerals will then be recoated using your saliva, which contains calcium and phosphates that will help repair your teeth and make them stronger. Unfortunately, not limiting your sugar intake will interfere with the process and only build up plaque.
Taking the proper precautions
Once plaque starts to form in your teeth, it can remain there and harden, eventually becoming tartar. That is why maintaining good oral practices go a long way in keeping your dental woes away. Make it a habit to brush and floss daily and eat foods that promote good bacteria.
If you sense any discomfort or if teeth problems worsen, we advise you to visit your dentist for consultation. There is nothing better than a quick check-up which can help you address problems and get a better solution.