Is it true that sugar causes tooth decay? Do parents use this excuse to dissuade kids from eating too many sweets? Good parents always want to make good choices for their families. With that, we don’t want to deprive our kids of all of life’s pleasures. That’s why we indulge them with a few yays to balance out all the nays. But, when it comes to Halloween, Easter, and Valentine’s Day candy, we want you to understand the connection between sugar and oral health. If you have any questions or want to learn more, please call your Stockton, CA dentist.
Dental caries, or a cavity, is a hole that forms in broken-down tooth enamel. Harmful decay is responsible for this damage. Plaque bacteria cause decay to develop. The sticky substance occurs naturally during the digestive process and accumulates on tooth surfaces. When allowed to sit for too long, plaque turns into tartar that can only be removed by a dental professional. Over time that bacteria-laden layer breaks down the enamel and forms a cavity. When the problem continues to be ignored, the condition will worsen and spread to the inner pulp. A deep cavity can be very painful and can result in tooth loss.
Mouth bacteria, not sugar, are responsible for cavities – at least, not exactly. Sugar digestion produces bacteria. A lack of proper oral hygiene will lead to decay and gum disease, tooth loss, and bone loss. Every time you eat, acids are created as your body breaks down food. This process aids in digestion, but it isn’t so great for your smile. The acids demineralize the protective enamel. The good news, brushing with fluoridated toothpaste, drinking fluoride-fortified tap water, and your own saliva all help re-mineralize teeth. Therefore, you and the kids can enjoy sugar treats from time to time, but be sure to take proper care of your smile to limit lingering bacteria.
The best way to treat cavities is to avoid them altogether. You don’t have to deprive yourself of sweets, but you need to be diligent with your oral care practices. This fact is especially true during holidays when sugary treats are in abundance. Less candy will reduce sugar exposure and encourage better health habits overall. Contact the Valley View Dental team today to find out more or to book an appointment.