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The Effects of Having a Serious Sweet Tooth
Apr 7, 2021

cupcakes Dental Care Center

Dear Sugar,

We love you and we hate you.

As soon as sugar hits your taste buds, your brain releases dopamine. This explains why we feel so good when indulging in our favorite treat. But, be careful. Unless you want to travel down a road of health problems with your body and mouth, go light on your consumption of sugar. It’s the leading cause of tooth decay for children and adults.

How does sugar affect your oral health?

Your mouth is an ecosystem in itself, comprised of good and bad bacteria. The bad bacteria feeds on sugar when it enters your mouth, leaving behind an eroding acid. This acid eats away at your tooth enamel — the protective layer of your tooth — and causes cavities to form and eventually leads to tooth decay. Without treatment, holes will form in your teeth. You will experience pain and may have to have your tooth removed.

The good news: Your saliva, contains phosphates and calcium, constantly combats these acids to repair the damage. Fluoride is also another key player in fighting against harmful, enamel-eating acids. However, these minerals can only do so much if you have a high consumption of sugar throughout the day. Unless you want oral health problems to arise, reduce the amount of daily sugar content in your diet.

Where is all of this sugar?

A primary source of added sugar consumption comes in the following drinks:

  • Soda (including diet)
  • Sport and energy drinks
  • Sweet teas
  • Fruit juices
  • Specialty coffee drinks

Aside from the obvious treats, here are some high-sugar foods that may be a surprise:

  • Yogurt
  • Instant oatmeal, cereal, and snack bars
  • Dried fruit
  • Frozen meals
  • Bread

There is only one way to be sure you are consuming a low-sugar diet. Check the nutrition labels on your foods and drinks to make sure the sugar content is less than the recommended daily dose of 25-38g sugar.

What can you do to help protect your teeth?

Sometimes you just need that extra treat to get through the day. There are a few things you can do if you decide to treat yourself. The following will help prevent cavities and tooth decay:

  • Have treats in moderation
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Brush and floss your teeth
  • Visit your dentist regularly

Interested in making low-sugar treats? Here are 5 Easy-To-Make Low-Sugar Desserts that will satisfy any sweet tooth without damaging your teeth in the process. If you have questions about your diet or would like to schedule an appointment, contact us today.