Eating a healthy and balanced diet is a great way to help keep your physical health in good standing. However, many of the foods you need to maintain your body could potentially damage your teeth. Sugars found in many common foods can negatively affect your oral health in Denton, TX, and lead to decay or disease. Keeping your teeth and gums clear from sugary substances could help prevent plaque buildup and the development of cavities. The more you understand about how sugar affects your mouth, the more you can work to help keep your oral health high.
How Sugar Affects Your Oral Health in Denton, TX
Sugar can be a great source of energy, and there are many natural sources that are found in healthy foods, such as fruits. However, even natural sugar can negatively impact your oral health. If you let sugar sit for too long on your teeth or near your gum line, more bacteria and decay could develop.
Sugar Feeds Bacteria
Our mouths are full of a host of different bacteria, some beneficial and some harmful. Harmful bacteria tend to feed off sugar, producing an acid that contributes to the growth of plaque and tartar. While it can take a while for that acid to affect your teeth and gums, if you wait too long, it can lead to serious damage.
When you eat or drink sugary foods, a portion of the sugar gets left behind on the surface of the tooth. Small amounts of sugar can often be washed away successfully by your saliva alone. However, larger amounts of sugar can lead to a buildup. Brushing or rinsing your teeth after consuming sugar foods and drinks could help prevent the development of sugar-caused decay.
Acidic, Sugary Food and Drink
Your teeth have a few layers of protection around the inner roots and nerves. The outermost layer, the enamel, can often protect your teeth from a lot of different damage. However, acidic substances can weaken the enamel. This is how sugar leads to the development of decay. The acid produced by the bacteria when it eats sugar weakens your teeth, allowing more harmful bacteria to spread in and cause damage.
If you are eating or drinking something that is both sugary and acidic, you could be expediting the process. Common sugary and acidic diets, such as soda or energy drinks, can weaken your enamel and allow a higher sugar buildup. While brushing after consuming sugar can be beneficial, it’s actually harmful when used after consuming something acidic. Because the acid weakens the enamel, brushing could lead to enamel loss, which often leaves your mouth more at risk for developing cavities.
Limiting your diet to include less sugary contents can help you protect your teeth from the damage of sugar. However, it’s also still important to get routine oral health check-ups and cleanings to help remove plaque and tartar from your teeth and gums. Call our office at 940-329-4605 to schedule your next cleaning and keep up on your oral health maintenance.