Sugar= Cavities

These days we all know sugar negatively impacts your teeth in several ways. Research has shown those who consume sodas and sugary drinks have an increased risk for heart disease, type two diabetes, obesity, cancer, cavities and so much more.

So, cavities and sugar, what’s the deal?

Your mouth contains an abundance of helpful oral bacteria and harmful oral bacteria, when food and drinks are consumed, the ph balance of your mouth changes and different types of bacteria are presented. When sugar, specifically, is introduced to the oral cavity a group of harmful bacteria creates an acid. Acids work to break down the minerals of your teeth and weaken tooth enamel. And by enamel, we mean the white, shiny, structure of your teeth that is visual to the eye. The good news is, your saliva actively and naturally undergoes a process of replenishing your tooth structure with the necessary minerals such as; calcium, phosphate, and fluoride from toothpaste and water.

It’s a constant battle. This process happens continually and causes mineral loss in the Enamel. Over time this weakens and ultimately destroys the enamel, causing a cavity. Cavity, or tooth decay, is a hole in the tooth and if left untreated by your dentist can spread deeper into the tooth causing pain, root canals, crowns, and tooth loss. 

Signs of a cavity:

  • Toothache
  • Pain while eating
  • Sensitivity to hot and cold 
  • Inflammation or swelling of the gums, cheek or face

So what can you do? 

  1. Watch what you eat and drink. If you do have a sugary beverage or food drink it all at once and brush right after.
  2. Practice good oral hygiene. Brush in the morning, after lunch, and before bed. 
  3. See your dentist. You should see your dentist every six months or as directed. Patients who tend to be higher risk for cavity are typically recommended to see their dentist every 3-4 months, along with patients with a history of periodontal disease, and poor oral hygiene.