It’s no secret that sugar is bad for your teeth – but exactly how bad is it? After all, it’s hard to avoid it when sweet treats are everywhere! The good news is that you don’t have to cut it out of your diet completely. A slice of cake at the occasional birthday party won’t completely destroy your teeth. But like most things, you must only consume sweets in moderation. Read on as we discuss how sugar impacts oral health and tips for beating a craving.
What Does Sugar Do to Your Teeth?
Contrary to popular belief, sugar itself doesn’t harm your oral health. It’s the harmful acids that bacteria produce after breaking down sugar that damages your teeth. They can easily dissolve your enamel, increasing your chances of tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease. Luckily, you can keep your smile safe by brushing and flossing every day to eliminate the residual sugars and harmful bacteria from your mouth.
How Does Sugar Affect Your Oral and Bodily Health?
Sugar can cause an array of oral and bodily health complications for people who eat it, such as:
It’s true – overconsumption of sugar is significantly associated with tooth decay. After eating sweet treats, the leftover particles combine with the saliva and bacteria present in the mouth and lead to plaque. Unless it’s removed properly, plaque can wear away the enamel and leave your teeth prone to cavities.
Sugar can also contribute to periodontal disease. Luckily, this infection can easily be treated if caught early. But if you fail to seek treatment, it can advance into periodontitis and destroy both the gum tissues and jawbone. Keep an eye out for red, bleeding, swollen, or tender gums as they’re signs of gum disease.
Obesity, Heart Disease, Cancer, Diabetes
Excessive sugar consumption can also increase your risk of several health problems, such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and even certain types of cancer. These issues can fester over time and become severe if left untreated. You can prevent these complications by watching your sugar intake and sticking to a well-balanced diet full of whole foods.
Tips for Beating a Sugar Craving
Do you have a serious sweet tooth? Here are some tips to help you overcome your cravings:
- Eat fresh fruits as a healthy alternative (apples, pears, strawberries, watermelon)
- Opt for sugar-free products instead
- Drink plenty of water to eliminate the sudden temptation
- Consider the potential damage to your smile and practice self-discipline
- Allow yourself to indulge occasionally
Maintaining good oral health involves more than just proper dental care. By cutting back on sugar and eating a nutritious diet, you can enjoy a healthy smile for years to come!
About the Practice
At Wehrkamp Dental, we offer comprehensive preventive, cosmetic, and restorative services. We do our very best to ensure you’re comfortable and satisfied during every dental visit. If you want to learn more about how sugar impacts oral health, we’re more than happy to explain and answer any of your questions during your routine checkup. Our ultimate goal is to help you understand how to achieve and maintain a healthy smile for life. To schedule an appointment, visit our website or call (605) 582-6522.