What happens to your teeth when you cut out sugar?
Most everyone loves sweets. It often seems that the more sugar that is in something, the more you want it. Sugar has a strong effect on people when it is consumed, and it is hurting more than just your waistline and blood sugar levels. Your teeth are also affected by it – even in ways you may not be aware of. Reducing sugar can be highly beneficial to your teeth – even enabling you to possibly keep them your whole life.
Prevent CavitiesMost people have heard that eating a lot of sugar is bad for your teeth. Not only does it cause tooth decay, but the decay can be so bad that it can lead to rotten teeth – and lots of dental work to fix them.
Reducing sugar can be a real benefit because it can help you to keep your pearly whites in good shape. Although getting a cavity, also called dental caries, can happen to anyone, many cavities can be avoided with less sugar.
The bad bacterium in your mouth that causes cavities eats when you eat sugar and carbs. This means that the more sugar you eat, the faster the bacteria multiply. When it eats, it produces acid, and the acid erodes the enamel on your teeth, causing cavities.
When you drink sodas or coffee with lots of sugar in it all day, you enable the bacteria to produce the damaging acid for hours at a time. Besides that, soda and coffee, as well as other foods and drinks, have their own acid that adds to the damage. Although it has little or no sugar, diet soda also has acid in it.
Eliminate Gum DiseaseGum disease is something that many people in America have today. It is largely caused by the amount of sugar consumed on a daily basis and a lack of proper dental care. It can easily be identified by gums that bleed and are inflamed.
As you reduce your daily sugar level intake, the bad bacteria does not grow as fast, and less acid is produced. While you will never remove all of the bad bacteria, less sugar will make it easier to keep your teeth and gums in good shape.
If you have early gum disease, called gingivitis, you can usually eliminate it by brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing. Once it becomes periodontitis, it will take a dentist's intervention to eliminate it. If periodontitis is not controlled, it can lead to loose teeth, and they may even fall out.
Keeps Your Teeth Whiter LongerReducing sugar can also help your teeth to stay white longer. While some yellowing naturally occurs with age, consuming a lot of sugar can cause cavities, which can discolor your teeth, and even cause them to turn black. Once this happens, it is easy for others to see the discolored teeth, and you will have lost your beautiful smile.
Eating sugar produces an excess amount of acid. The acid leaches minerals out of your teeth and thins the enamel. As the enamel becomes thinner, the underlying yellow color of the dentin is able to be seen through it. Saliva carries minerals in it to help replace the minerals, but you cannot regrow the enamel.
Enables Better BreathThe same bacterium that causes cavities is also responsible for bad breath. In addition to the acid produced, it also creates a sulfur compound. This is what causes bad breath, and minimizing the bacteria by eating fewer sweets will enable your breath to stay sweeter longer. If you choose to eat a sugary breath mint, you really are not helping the problem. It is OK to eat a breath mint or chew gum, but one that is sugar-free is best.
Fewer Serious Health ProblemsThis same bacteria is behind gum disease has also been found to be connected to many serious health issues. As your gums become inflamed in response to the bacteria, the bacteria gain access to your bloodstream. From there it spreads throughout your bloodstream and starts affecting your arteries and organs. Inflammation has been found to be responsible for heart disease, heart attacks, stroke, rheumatoid arthritis, dementia, and many more.
Reducing your sugar intake can definitely make a difference in the health of your teeth – and your body. While you probably do not want to eliminate sugar completely, you can compensate for some of it by reducing your intake. If you drink water after consuming sugary foods, it will help to wash the sugar and acid from your teeth. Brushing twice a day and flossing will also help to remove the bacteria and plaque that is formed there every day, reducing the likelihood of dental problems.
If you have tooth decay or gum disease and need tooth repair or replacement teeth, and you live in the Carrollton, TX, and Grapevine, TX areas, you can get help from Dr. Kumar T. Vadivel, DDS, FDS RCS, MS, a Board-certified Periodontist. He performs many types of cosmetic dentistry and can restore your smile. For more information about his dental services, or to set up an appointment, you can call his office today at (817) 756-8578.