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Sugar - How It Affects Your Teeth?

Dr. M. Vijaya Lakshmi 87% (58 ratings)
M.D.S, Post-Graduate Certificate in Oral Implantology (PGCOI) , B.D.S
Dentist, Hyderabad  •  19 years experience
Sugar - How It Affects Your Teeth?

Sugar is an all pervasive substance that is found in most food items although specific ones such as candies, colas and sweet delicacies tend to have more of it. While it may taste great on the tongue, it may not be so good for your body as well as your teeth. Teeth are especially affected by sugar as an ingredient in all items of food. Some of the ways it affects your dental health are discussed below –

  1. Sugar from colas, sodas and other carbonated beverages: Sugar that gets into your body in the form of carbonated beverages are the worst in terms of the nooks and crannies that it gets into. As it is in liquid form, it can swirl around the toughest corner and deposit sugar there. This will encourage the growth of harmful bacteria, causing a host of problems.

  2. Dissolving tooth enamel: Tooth enamel is the topmost layer of teeth. This is the layer which is visible to the naked eye and is white in color. Foods such as chewy candies can leave a hard lump of sugar lodged in your teeth which the saliva in your mouth will not be able to dissolve away. This will keep producing acids and result in the dissolving of the enamel. Enamel protects the nerves of the teeth and thus will result in extreme pain and even tooth decay.

  3. Encourages the growth of plaque: Plaque is an obstructive and sticky substance that forms on many parts of your body, including the teeth. Plaque is an ideal breeding ground for bacteria and these bacteria feed and grow on the sugar from the foods that you eat. These bacteria can cause cavities, gum infections, bad breath, destroy the enamel among causing other dental problems as well.

Some of the other related problems that can be caused by sugar on your dental health are:-

  1. Reduction in the size of your back teeth due to erosion from acids formed from sugar.

  2. Gum infections of various kinds which may end up requiring surgery.

  3. Changes in the bite of a person i.e. the way upper and lower teeth come together.

  4. Sugar may also affect the growth of bacteria in the mouth, which in turn may also cause digestion problems.

  5. Causes bad breath due to buildup of bacteria.

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