Cutting down on sugar can have all-round benefits for your health. High-sugar diets have been associated with obesity and a higher risk of heart and kidney disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, bone and joint problems such as osteoporosis. This type of diet affects your dental health too.
Higher the quantity of sugar in your food and drinks more will be the risk of your tooth decaying and getting gum diseases.
Oral health issues have evidently been linked to diseases in other parts of the body, such as heart problems, lung infections, and pneumonia. Living with bad oral health can also have an impact on your psychological well being and quality of life.
Being aware of what effect sugar has on your teeth and how to avoid consuming them excessively could help you make educated decisions.
It is not just sugar that damages your teeth, but also the bacteria that live in your mouth which feed on it. These bacteria are capable of converting the sugar into acids that gradually dissolve the enamel, leading to tooth decay.
You may have tooth decay if you experience either or all of these symptoms such as
- Tooth pain
- Sensitivity to temperature
- Sensitivity to pressure when biting down
- White, yellow or brown bands on your teeth close to the gum line
Sugar is naturally present in fruits among various other types of foods. These natural sugars do not aggravate your risk of tooth decay, given you stick to a good oral hygiene routine. But the sugar present in processed products can be a problem, especially when consumed too much.
In certain snacks such as fruits, the nutritional benefits generally outweigh the unwanted effects of sugar, so completely avoiding sugar intake is usually not the recommended option.
It is noteworthy that children are generally more vulnerable to tooth decay than adults are, as their teeth are still in the developing stage, and the enamel is softer and easier to damage.
Some of the high-sugar foods and drinks are:
- Soft drinks and energy drinks (19%)
- Fruit and vegetable juices (13%)
- Cakes and muffins (8.7%)
- Confectionery (8.7%)
- Cordial beverages (4.9%)
Sugar-sweetened drinks, mainly soft drinks and energy drinks, can be specifically damaging to teeth. Not only do the bacteria in the mouth convert the sugars and produce acids, but the drinks themselves also have high acid content. Even soft drinks that mention ‘diet’ containing artificial sweeteners and fruit juices could be highly acidic.
When you eat or drink something that contains sugar, the resulting ‘acid attack’ due to the reaction between bacteria and sugar on your teeth can cause your teeth to erode faster and increase the pace at which dental diseases occur. Each acid attack can last around 20 minutes. Frequently having sugary drinks or snacks throughout the day can cause more damage, as this breakdown cycle repeats each time you consume sugar-foods or drinks. Limiting these foods and drinks to meal times can help in reducing the acid damage and give your teeth a better chance to recover.
Top Notch Dental Clinic is your one stop destination for all your oral-health related problems. Book an appointment with them today for a consultation about the status of your oral hygiene and what is to be done to take care of it.