Sugar & Cavities: What You Should Know
I’m sure you’ve heard it a million times, “if you eat too much sugar, your teeth will rot!” However, haven’t you been eating sugar? And, aren’t your teeth fine? Have you been being lied to this entire time? Well, no, it’s not that simple actually, but sugar is scientifically proven to have adverse effects on your teeth, causing tooth decay and gum disease. However, eating sugar isn’t the only way to get cavities or to ruin your smile. Read more below about cavities, sugar and preventing tooth decay problems that could require painful dental procedures.
What is a cavity?
A cavity is a hole or place in a tooth where decay has started to erode the enamel of the tooth. In its early stages, a cavity may appear as a small dark mark on a tooth. However, tooth decay can progress to a visible hole in the tooth or even complete loss of the tooth. Cavities are mainly caused by poor maintenance of teeth and improper dental care techniques.
Does sugar cause cavities?
No, technically, sugar does not cause cavities. However, sugar does create the necessary conditions for tooth decay. When sugar is broken down by saliva, it creates plaque that builds up on teeth. Plaque is a sticky substance that advances the stages of tooth decay and eats away at the enamel of your teeth. This is seen in children and young adults that do not brush, floss and rinse with mouthwash on a regular basis.
So, now that you know what cavities are, it’s time to learn how you can prevent cavities from forming in your mouth and causing painful trips to the dentist’s office. Take advantage of these tips to avoid trips to the dentist due to cavities:
- Brush your teeth frequently including after all meals.
- Remove hidden food particles and plaque with floss.
- Use mouthwash to prevent stains and improve overall oral health.
- Receive bi-yearly dental checkups for routine cleanings and health screenings.
- Limit intake of sugar, gum, coffee, red wine and other things that may stain or decay your teeth.