Is Sugar Bad For Teeth?

Fighting tooth decay, Chapel Hill, NC

Health information is always changing, but one piece of advice has stayed the same: dentists say sugar is bad for teeth. Why hasn’t this advice changed over the years? Is sugar really as bad for teeth as we’ve been told? Chapel Hill, NC dentist office Chapel Hill Family & Cosmetic Dentistry has some bad news for you: sugar really is bad for your teeth.

Sugar Damages Your Teeth

Unfortunately, sugar destroys teeth. Everything we eat leaves residue on our teeth, and naturally-occurring oral bacteria feed off of this food source. Bacteria reproduce quickly when they feed off sugar, so foods with higher sugar content means more bacteria and plaque on the teeth.

As bacteria feed off of this leftover food residue, the acids they release contribute to tooth decay. These acids dissolve tooth enamel, eventually making small holes, called cavities, in the teeth. This process can also cause tooth discoloration and gum disease. While sugar itself does not cause decay, it accelerates the process by which oral bacteria destroy teeth.

Sugar is Hiding in Most Food

Almost every food has sugar, and many drinks contain sugar as well. Even healthy foods like fruits and vegetables have sugar, but the primary culprit of American tooth decay is the sugar hiding in nearly every processed food available everywhere.

Regardless of the source, sugar can still lead to tooth decay.

How to Help Your Teeth

We know that completely eliminating sugar from your diet is impractical — even dentists consume sugar! Changing the source of your sugar is a great first step. Eating more fruits and vegetables instead of processed food will significantly reduce the amount of sugar in your mouth, and it’s better for your overall health.Regular brushing and flossing is the best way to remove plaque from the teeth. This means brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing once a day, and keeping regular appointments with Chapel Hill Family & Cosmetic Dentistry. To keep plaque and tooth decay under control, schedule a consultation with us today.