How does sugar cause tooth decay?

How does sugar cause tooth decay?

Your dentist will tell you that eating too much sugar can lead to tooth decay, but are you aware of exactly how that happens? Rock House Dental Practice Wolverhampton would love to tell you.

You’ll be surprised to hear that it’s not actually the sugar itself that does the damage! The actual chain of events that takes place after you eat that piece of cake is what causes the most harm.

Bugs and bacteria in your mouth

The mouth is full of hundreds of bacteria, many of which are good bacteria and benefit the oral ecosystem. However, certain harmful oral bacteria actually feed on the sugars you eat from that piece of cake. It creates acids that dissolve and destroy the tooth enamel, which is the shiny, protective outer layer of your tooth. Cavities can eventually appear; bacterial infections created by acids cause your teeth to develop holes, and more bugs and bacteria propagate. It’s an endless cycle!

Without treatment, cavities can progress past the enamel and into the deeper layers of the tooth, causing pain and possible tooth loss. If this happens, visit your Dentist as soon as possible!

Luckily your saliva helps to replace the minerals lost and strengthens your teeth because it contains key minerals like calcium. Fluoride is another mineral that helps to repair the teeth, this, as you know, is found in toothpaste.

However, replacing lost minerals can only do so much to prevent the effects of sugar on teeth if you eat lots of sweets and starches throughout the day. Limiting your sugar intake is vital if you want to give your mouth a fighting chance to fix the damage.

Tips to minimise decay

So all of the above sounds pretty scary but it can happen if you do not take care of your teeth. Here are a few tips to avoid those nasty cavities:

  • Visit your dentist regularly so we can ensure your teeth are healthy or advise on steps to improve your oral hygiene. Regularly have a dental examination, to identify problems early
  • Visit the dental hygienist to make sure plaque and calculus buildups are kept to a minimum.
  • Stimulate the saliva flow in your mouth. Sugar-free chewing gum is a good way of doing this
  • Avoid snacking
  • Drink soft drinks only in moderation if at all.
  • Use a straw so your teeth are less exposed to the sugar and acid in the drink.
  • Take a drink of water, preferably fluoridated, after a sugary or acidic drink to rinse out your mouth and dilute the sugars.
  • Protect your teeth by using fluoride toothpaste. Also, after drinking sugary or acidic drinks, don’t brush your teeth straight away. Wait at least one hour so your teeth can recover and your enamel can harden before you brush them.
  • Do not sip a sugary drink slowly over a long duration. Doing so exposes your teeth to sugar and acid attacks for longer.
  • Never drink sugary or acidic drinks before you go to bed – if you do so the liquid will pool in your mouth, coating your teeth with sugar and acid.
  • High Acidity Drinks – Soft Drinks, Diet Soft Drinks, Sports Drinks – Drink rarely (if at all).
  • Medium Acidity Drinks – Fruit juice – Drink occasionally.
  • Low Acidity Drinks – Water, Milk – Drink plenty.

Reviews

  • Simran Bhogal

    This practice has a very professional and relaxed feel about it. The treatment is carefully planned and executed. Overall very... read more - 8/13/2018

  • Ricky Nandra

    Highly recommended!!! The service from start to finish is impeccable topped off by a great team and experienced dentists to... read more - 7/19/2019

  • Suki Virdi

    I came to the practice a couple of weeks ago for the first time. The staff were very professional and... read more - 7/26/2019

  • James Crowter

    These guys have proved time and again for me that they care more, when I needed emergency care they performed... read more - 3/13/2019

  • teaguey11

    I visited recently to have my wisdom teeth removed, the procedure was quick and comfortable. The practice is extremely... read more - 7/19/2019

  • Keith Dipple

    Highly professional yet with a great balance of a welcoming & relaxing atmosphere. My first treatment here was smooth... read more - 9/10/2019

  • Mark Hatton

    Great service and always friendly staff :)
    All dental work and anything that needs to be checked or kept note of...
    read more
    - 12/11/2019

  • Patrick Bowers

    I have been a patient here for a few years and the service is always first rate. All of the... read more - 11/20/2018

  • Jasbir Reehal

    I have been a patient for many years and would not go anywhere else, despite living some distance away. I... read more - 7/24/2019

  • mark atkins

    phoned 9.30 saturday morning with dental emergency the lady on the phone was so helpful and understanding she got me... read more - 8/12/2019

  • PAUL REEL

    I've been a patient here for 15 years and it's got better and better. Fantastic service from start to finish.... read more - 7/27/2019

  • vikki biggs

    Absolute brilliant dentist, and has looked after myself and my daughter for a few years, would highly recommend the practice... read more - 7/14/2019

  • Sheena Parry

    I cannot recommend this dentist highly enough. They are kind, considerate and eminently professional. They were also nothing short of... read more - 8/13/2019

  • Fiona Berry

    I am a nervous patient. I cry through the exam let alone any treatment!! Today these lovely people got me... read more - 10/03/2018

  • Roop Dulai

    Great practice with very professional staff. Dr Nandra and his team always put my family at ease about trips to... read more - 7/23/2019

  • Amarjit Dhillon

    These guys are just great, highly recommended. After being turned away from my normal nhs practise, Anoop came to... read more - 8/18/2016

  • Jennie Jones

    I am a new patient at this Dentist and I am so impressed with the professionalism I have experienced. I... read more - 4/18/2018

  • Colin AT

    Awesome, really feel at home with the team.. and in Anoup's care :) - 7/25/2016

  • William Powers

    I have been a patient of Dr Nandra for many years.
    Over this time the standard of care that I have...
    read more
    - 1/23/2019

  • JOHN WILLIAMSON

    My dentist merged with the Rock practice a short while ago, and then moved on, so I had only had... read more - 10/10/2019

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