EFFECTS OF SUGAR ON TEETH
Sugar is like a magnet for bad bacteria.
There are two destructive bacteria found in the mouth. Both of them feed on the sugar you eat and form dental plaque, which is a sticky, colorless film that forms on the surface of the teeth. If the plaque is not washed away by saliva or brushing, the environment in the mouth becomes more acidic and cavities may start to form. The pH scale measures how acidic or basic a solution is, with 7 being neutral. When the pH of plaque drops below normal, or less than 5.5, the acidity starts to dissolve minerals and destroy the tooth’s enamel. In the process, small holes or erosions will form. Over time, they will become larger, until one large hole or cavity appears.
Sugar attracts harmful bacteria that destroy the tooth’s enamel, which can cause a cavity in the affected tooth.
Dietary Habits That Cause Tooth Decay
A] Consuming High-Sugar Snacks
Think before you reach for that sugary snack. Many studies have found that the frequent consumption of sweets and sugary drinks leads to cavities. Frequent snacking on foods high in sugar increases the amount of time your teeth are exposed to the dissolving effects of various acids, causing tooth decay.
B] Drinking Sugary and Acidic Beverages
The most common source of liquid sugar is sugary soft drinks, sports drinks, energy drinks, and juices. In addition to sugar, these drinks have high levels of acids that can cause tooth decay.
C] Sipping on Sugary Beverages
If you constantly sip sugary drinks throughout the day, it’s time to rethink that habit. Research has shown that the way you drink your beverages affects your risk of developing cavities. The reason is partly that this exposes your teeth to sugar for a longer time, giving the harmful bacteria more opportunity to do their damage.
D] Eating Sticky Foods
“Sticky foods” are those that provide long-lasting sources of sugar, such as hard candies, breath mints, and lollipops. These are also linked to tooth decay.
Because you retain these foods in your mouth for longer, their sugars are gradually released. This gives the harmful bacteria in your mouth plenty of time to digest the sugar and produce more acid.
Certain habits are linked to tooth decay, including snacking on high-sugar foods, drinking sugary or acidic beverages, sipping on sweet drinks, and eating sticky foods.