What Does Sugar Do to Your Teeth?

July 29, 2021

Sugar, like most things in life, is great in moderation. Eating too many sweets, or failing to brush and floss after sugar-heavy meals, however, can have long-term repercussions on your oral health.

  1. Colorful Sweet CandySugar disrupts the balance between good & bad bacteria in the mouth. After eating, sugar and food particles are left wedged in the cracks and crevices of our teeth. Without regular removal, our leftovers can quickly become superfoods for harmful bacteria.
  2. Oral bacteria release acid during digestion. The harder bacteria work to digest sugar, the more acid the bacteria release. Consistently high pH levels cause a myriad of dental issues such as the formation of plaque and cavities.
  3. Bad breath is a common symptom of acid spikes caused by sugar digestion. High pH levels can cause the mouth to become acrid or dry. If you experience bad breath or a bad taste that isn’t remedied through dental hygiene, the cause may be an overproduction of acid.
  4. Sugar-fueled bacteria growth can result in gum disease. Bad bacteria wreaks havoc on the entire mouth, not just the teeth. Bacteria accumulate against the gumline and can cause inflammation, swelling or bleeding.
  5. Sugar can disrupt enamel remineralization. Minerals like phosphate and calcium occur naturally in our saliva, and these minerals help to restore enamel strength. When large amounts of sugar are consumed regularly, it becomes difficult for our natural remineralization process to keep up.
  6. Heavy sugar intake can lead to permanent enamel erosion. Without a healthy remineralization cycle, the stresses of sugar consumption can cause permanent damage. The destruction of our protective enamel layer allows cavities to form. Left unattended, cavities will continue to grow and can result in tooth loss.
  7. A sugar-heavy diet can lead to dentin exposure. Dentin, a porous layer deeper in the tooth, can be exposed as a result of enamel erosion. This tissue is very sensitive, and its exposure can cause great discomfort.
  8. Sudden tooth pain may be the result of eating too many sweets. If you start experiencing sharp pains or consistent aching in your mouth, your dentist will likely spot signs of tooth decay.
  9. Too much sugar can cause sensitivity to extreme temperatures and sweets. If you’re experiencing sensitivity, pay attention to where it is taking place in the mouth and what you are eating when you feel it. Give these details to your dental professional.
  10. Tooth decay can lead to an increased risk for severe health problems. In addition to pain, discomfort, and tooth loss, poor oral health can lead to infections. Abscesses and other oral infections can cause serious damage to the heart and brain if left untreated.

Schedule a Thorough Cleaning With Your Dentist

Maintaining oral health includes regular checkups with your dentist. Serving the community of Falcon, CO and the surrounding areas, the dental professionals at Woodmen Dental Group are here to serve you. Our team of general dentists and specialists can tackle all your dental needs in one place. Schedule an appointment with one of our dentists today.