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Is Sugar Actually Bad For Teeth?

Sugar free gum and oral health, Cohoes, NYFor years now, dentists have been warning us about the dangers of sugar to our teeth, but health information seems to be always changing. One day “everyone knows” something is bad and the next it’s good, so could that be the case for sugar and our teeth, too? Dr. Frederick Marra of Capital Region Complete Dental Care & Implants of Cohoes, NY has some bad news for you: sugar is still just as bad for your teeth as you’ve always been told.

Sugar Damages Your Teeth

There’s a good reason dentists warn against excessive sugar intake: it destroys your tooth enamel. Everything we eat leaves a residue on our teeth that combines with naturally-occurring oral bacteria. This residue — plaque — builds up throughout the day or even while we sleep, and the only way to remove it is to brush and floss your teeth. If left untreated, plaque will cause tooth decay, destroying the hard outer layer of enamel.

Sugar feeds oral bacteria, allowing it to thrive in the mouth. Oral bacteria already eat away at tooth enamel, but sugar only makes them more efficient at this. While sugar itself is not the cause of tooth decay, it accelerates oral bacteria’s ability to destroy your teeth by creating cavities and weakening enamel.

Sugar is Hiding in Most Food

Almost every food has some form of sugar, and many drinks contain sugar as well. Even healthy foods like fruits and vegetables have natural sugar, but the primary culprit of tooth decay among Americans is the sugar hiding in nearly every processed food available everywhere.

Regardless of the source, sugar can still lead to tooth decay.

How to Help Your Teeth

While it’s completely impractical to eliminate sugar from your diet entirely, changing the source of your sugar is a great first step. Increasing the fruits and vegetables you eat and reducing the amount of processed foods will significantly reduce the amount of sugar in your mouth, and also help your entire body be more healthy.

Daily brushing and flossing is still the best way to remove plaque from the teeth. This means brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing once a day, and keeping regular appointments with Dr. Marra. To keep plaque and tooth decay under control, schedule a consultation with Dr. Marra today by calling (518) 650-1930 or contact us online.