Is Sugar the Enemy of Your Healthy Smile?
Patients frequently ask whether they should pay attention to warnings about the dangers of sugar. Does sugar cause cavities? Some sugar isn’t bad, but if you really want to have a tooth friendly diet, then you need to limit your sugar intake. Why? Well, read below to find out.
Sugar and Tooth Decay
When you ingest sugar, the bacteria that live in your mouth break it down rapidly into various acidic compounds. You see, it isn’t the sugar that actually damages your teeth; it’s the acids that are created from its decomposition. These acids eat away at tooth enamel and cause decay, which can lead to cavities and gum disease. The saliva in your mouth can wash much of the acid away. However, the process takes around thirty minutes, and if you are consistently snacking on sugary foods, you don’t give your body time to dispose of the acids properly.
The Diabetes Connection
Processed sugar consumption has been linked to the rise in type 2 diabetes among Americans. Unfortunately, the more than 30 million Americans who have diabetes are at a higher risk for multiple oral disorders, such as tooth decay, gingivitis, and periodontitis. By limiting your sugar intake, you decrease the probability of diabetes and all its associated health risks.
Diet for Healthy Teeth
Everything you eat has sugar in it, and you need sugar for your body to work properly. However, as a general rule, only consume sugar if it’s derived from natural sources, like whole grains, vegetables, and fruits. And cheating every once and awhile isn’t bad; just make sure you bring a toothbrush or some sugarless gum to help rinse off all those acids. Oral health is a good indicator of general well-being, and if you follow a diet for healthy teeth the rest of your body will thank you.
At your next dental exam ask about ways to improve your oral hygiene routine and learn more about the best diet for a healthy smile.
Remember, beautiful teeth are healthy teeth!
Dr. Nishan Halim
~Winner of the 2015 Hilly Award for Best Healthcare Provider~
Nishan Halim, DMD specializes in adult and pediatric restorative and cosmetic dentistry, as well as preventive dentistry, which is at the heart of this Capitol Hill, Washington DC neighborhood dental center. If you have questions about your oral hygiene routine, contact Dr. Halim to schedule an appointment. Find out how he can help you maintain your healthy smile.