Odds are you’ve heard at some point or other how sugar is bad for your teeth – but do you know how it really affects your dental health? Most people tend to have a rough understanding of the issue and tend to be somewhat aware of the link between sugar and cavities, but there’s really much more to it than that.
“What Does Sugar Do?”
Essentially when you eat sugar it ends up being converted into acid by the bacteria in your mouth. That acid then starts to erode the enamel of your teeth which will eventually lead to the formation of a cavity. If left unchecked the cavity will continue to worsen up to the point where it gets past the enamel and into the deeper layers of the tooth – eventually leading to the loss of the entire tooth.
It is important to note that the presence of acid in your mouth and a certain amount of erosion is normal. The enamel of your teeth are constantly exposed to acid in small quantities and undergo a cycle of being eroded and strengthened so that they remain in balance.
Consuming sugar excessively alters that balance however – which is why it represents a risk to your dental health. The more sugar you eat, the more imbalanced things become, and the greater the risk of cavities developing.
Saliva is Key
What most people don’t realize is that the key to dealing with sugar is actually saliva. Saliva essentially is the body’s natural way of dealing with the acid in your mouth, and so it helps with the acid that is caused by consuming sugar too.
Because of this, there are certain actions that you can take to actually help counteract the sugar that you consume. One of the best is to consume sugary foods at the end of the meal (as opposed to snacking on sugary foods throughout the day) as the saliva production tends to be high after meals. Another option is to chew sugar-free gum so encourage the production of saliva.
Of course other conventional methods help too – such as regular brushing and flossing, but at the end of the day the best way to avoid the effects of sugar on your dental health is to cut down your consumption. If you’re able to avoid most of the common sources of sugar in your diet and substitute them with sugar-free options then you’ll find that your risk of developing cavities is dramatically reduced.
Needless to say, if you’re worried that you already have a cavity or just need further advice then the best option would be to visit a Chiswick dentist at Chiswick Park Dental Practice, 62 South Parade, Chiswick, London, W4 5LG for a checkup. Regular dental checkups can help to avoid most of these issues, and coupled with reducing your sugar consumption they should do the trick.