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Does Sugar Really Cause Tooth Damage?

Does Sugar Really Cause Tooth Damage?

When it comes to your oral health, there’s no bigger boogeyman than sugar. Eat too many candy bars or have one too many fruity drinks, and you just might find yourself dealing with a massive cavity (or two) at your next visit to the dentist. 

But is sugar really so bad for your teeth and responsible for tooth damage? Here’s what you need to know about what happens when you take a bite or sip of your favorite sugary snacks and drinks.

At the Center for Implant & Esthetic Dentistry, our prosthodontist Dr. Ramin Mahallati and our team offer advanced preventive, restorative, and cosmetic dentistry services at our office in Beverly Hills.

What sugar does to your teeth

Here’s the bad news: your dentist wasn’t being dramatic; sugar really does put your teeth at risk for damage and decay. Sugar and starches from the food you eat team up with bacteria in your mouth to create acids that weaken tooth enamel. That can lead to bacterial infections and cavities. Poor oral hygiene and skipping routine dental checkups and cleanings will only make the problem worse. 

More than cavities 

Once bacteria burrow their way between your teeth and gums, it starts to harden into a sticky film known as plaque. 

If plaque isn’t removed it can cause bad breath and gum inflammation (gingivitis). Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease and is reversible if caught and treated early. Untreated gingivitis can lead to advanced gum disease (periodontitis), which causes irreversible damage to your teeth and gums and can ultimately result in tooth loss.

What you can do to prevent tooth damage and cavities 

Taking a proactive approach to your oral health is especially important if you have a sweet tooth, or even if you just enjoy the occasional sugary snack. Brushing your teeth after meals and flossing at least once a day helps to prevent the formation of plaque.

Cutting back on and limiting your sugar intake is also an important part of your oral health routine. Even if you don’t think you consume that much sugar, you’d be surprised how much of it is lurking in everything you eat and drink. It is especially prevalent in processed foods and “fruit” juices and flavored beverages. Read the labels carefully to keep track of just how much sugar you’re ingesting.

Go to the dentist every six months for a checkup and professional dental cleaning. Even if you brush and floss regularly, preventive dental care is still necessary. 

Recovering from tooth damage

Even if your teeth and gums are unhealthy, there are options available to help you fix your teeth and take control of your oral health. Dr. Ramin and our team at Center for Implant & Esthetic Dentistry offer full mouth reconstruction services and restorations like dental bridges and dental implants.

For more information about preventing and treating tooth decay and other common oral health problems, contact the Center for Implant and Esthetic Dentistry today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Ramin at our office in Beverly Hills. 

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