Sugar: The Hidden Truth

Most people are well aware of the fact that sugar causes cavities. However, sugar can also lead to other oral health problems. When sugar combines with S.mutans (or cavity causing bacteria), it creates acid in your mouth. This acid is what attacks tooth enamel, the outermost layer of your tooth, which will then weaken your tooth’s immunity against harmful bacteria and tooth decay.

It’s not just cavities that are at stake here. Unhealthy teeth also begin to look dingy and become prone to cracks and chips. In addition, teeth that have been weakened by the acid effects of sugar also have the potential to move or shift, which leads to a crooked smile.

Now that you know the magnitude of oral health disasters that are at risk by eating too much sugar, it is important that you can correctly identify sugar in your diet. Not all foods and beverages will list the word “sugar” in the ingredient list. In fact, there are several hidden names of sugar to watch out for, such as the following:

  • Lactose
  • Glucose
  • Dextrose
  • Fructose
  • Cane sugar
  • Castro sugar
  • Agave nectar
  • Sorbitol
  • Panocha
  • Cane crystals
  • Barley malt

All of these types of sugar can cause the same damage to your smile if you are not careful.

Follow Up with Water

It is probably unrealistic that you eliminate all forms of sugar from your diet. However, there are some manageable steps you can take to lessen the damage. Try to consume sugary foods or beverages over a shorter period of time and follow with a drink of water to wash away the acid on your teeth and prevent enamel erosion. Wait about an hour and then brush your teeth if possible. Nibbling on sugary snacks and drinks throughout the entire day means that the threatening acids and bacteria sit on your teeth longer and start their attack.

Group Health Dental can help patients identify signs that their teeth are becoming damaged by too much sugar and treat them effectively. Give sugar, of all names, a boot in your diet and not only will your teeth thank you, but your overall health will too!

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