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How Sugar Can Affect Your Teeth

A graphic of a package of sugar-free gum.
Image by Karan Kumar from Pixabay

It’s a known fact that sugar is bad for your teeth. While the consumption of high-sugar sweets and drinks can contribute to decay and cavities, sugar singlehandedly won’t cause these issues. So, how can sugar harm your teeth?

Sugar & Your Smile

While sugar isn’t the sole culprit for dental issues, the amount you consume can play a big role in determining your oral health. One way sugar causes problems is through demineralization or the destruction of the enamel. Bacteria in the mouth produce acid. Ultimately, plaque build-up from acid due to the mix of sugar and bacteria can create the first signs of decay.

Sugar can also interfere with your oral pH balance. When you consume sugar, your saliva begins to break it down. The acid in your mouth then increases, which lowers a neutral pH balance. This creates a more acidic environment where teeth are susceptible to damage.

Alternatives to High-Sugar Foods

An easy way to avoid demineralization and out-of-balance pH levels is to avoid high-sugar foods. However, we understand it’s not always possible. We recommend choosing low-sugar options whenever possible to reduce the chance of sugar affecting your teeth. Chewing a sugar-free gum with xylitol can also encourage saliva production which is helpful after eating or drinking acidic foods or beverages.

Preventing Tooth Decay

Taking good care of your teeth and gums is the best way to decrease the chance of tooth decay. Other ways to enjoy sugar while protecting your teeth include:

  • Brushing twice a day
  • Flossing at least once a day
  • Attending routine dental visits

Schedule an Appointment for Dental Care in Prairie Village, KS

Our Chaney Dental team offers children’s dentistry and preventive dentistry services geared to keep your smile healthy. Dental sealants and fluoride treatments protect teeth from the damaging effects of sugar. We also offer restorative treatments if your smile has been affected by sugar or other causes. Use our virtual contact form or give our office a call to schedule an appointment today!

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