Everybody knows excess sugar consumption can make you gain unwanted weight. But did you know it can damage your teeth, as well? According to Dr. Tamatha C. Pantano, DMD, sugar is directly linked to tooth decay. To maintain healthy teeth and the ideal weight, it is therefore essential we limit our intake of foods high in sugar.
Sugar and cavities
The enamel is the hard, white, shiny substance serving as your tooth’s outer layer and protective barrier. Sugar can lead to the degradation of enamel, which in turn can lead to the formation of cavities.
Sugar isn’t the lone culprit behind cavities. Countless bacteria make their home in your mouth, and some of them are potentially harmful. Such bacteria are attracted to sugar, and when they digest sugar, they form dental plaque—a colorless film that sticks to the surface of your teeth. Plaque makes the oral cavity more acidic, which leads to the removal of minerals from the enamel. This is a process known as demineralization.
Demineralization erodes the enamel. While saliva continuously reverses the damage caused by this process, the frequent consumption of sugary foods can boost the production of acid and thus weaken the enamel over time. It’s, for this reason, we must observe good oral hygiene—and why reducing our sugar intake is essential if we want to keep our teeth healthy and strong.
Healthy alternatives to sugary foods
We all love snacks. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it is unfortunate that a majority of Americans overly rely on sugar when it comes to light meals. This is a shame, considering there are so many healthy alternatives that will benefit both our teeth as well as our overall health.
An excellent example is the fruit salad. A good fruit salad is sweet without the unhealthy sugar, brimming with vitamins and minerals, and will satisfy your craving for a snack. You can use ingredients such as grapes, raspberries, blueberries, apples, and freshly squeezed orange juice.
If you want something with a little more crunch, try a salad that combines vegetables and fruits. Popular ingredients include freshly chopped mint basil, pepper, finely minced garlic cloves, cherry tomatoes, arugula, fresh mozzarella, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar.
Are you worried sugar is ruining your dental health? You can always contact us via our website or at (301) 856-1122 if you have any concerns. And please browse our list of services to see how else we can be of assistance to you!