Does Sugar Really Cause Cavities?

Posted on 3/21/2022 by Thomas Wold, DMD
Does Sugar Really Cause Cavities?This is an age-old question that many of our patients ask, and our response may surprise you. Sugar is not harmful to your teeth in and of itself. What the mix of sugar and germs in your mouth does to your teeth is detrimental.

How Does It Affect Your Teeth

When you consume anything sweet, sugar particles attach to your teeth and hide in the gaps and crevices. While this isn't a big deal in and of itself, the major issue is that our mouths also contain streptococcus bacteria in those same microscopic gaps and crevices. Strep bacterium congregate on plaque accumulation on our teeth. Furthermore, the bacterium enjoys feeding on the sugar. When bacteria consume sugar, they emit acids, and it is the acids that cause the problem! Even though the enamel on our teeth is the strongest mineral element in our body, it is extremely vulnerable to acid damage. When acids come into touch with tooth enamel for an extended period, the acid begins to dissolve the enamel, causing decay to develop. Cavities will appear all over the place before you realize it.

Take Care of Your Mouth

That is why skilled dental experts advise us to brush our teeth twice a day, floss on a regular basis, and get routine exams twice a year, which include a professional cleaning. The essential factor is how long the sugar remains on your teeth. The longer it stays, the longer it is available for bacteria to ingest, and the more acids are made. So the key is to brush and floss after eating sugary meals, and to see a competent dentist on a regular basis. Even if you enjoy sweets, keeping the acids and plaque accumulation under control could help you avoid cavities.
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