More than 70% of Americans unknowingly consume toxic levels of sugar. Along with increasing your risk of heart disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and cancer, consuming excessive amounts of sugar is detrimental to your oral health.
The average American consumes 20 teaspoons of sugar daily, which is three times the recommended intake level. These levels are boosted by hidden sugars in processed foods that Americans frequently consume: pasta sauce, salad dressing, granola bars and ketchup are four of the worst offenders.
The human mouth is full of hundreds of bacteria, most of which are beneficial to oral care. However, some mouth bacteria feed on sugar and cause tooth destruction.
After consuming sugary foods or drinks, the plaque bacteria in our mouth turns the ingested sugar into acid. These acids are created in 20 seconds but remain in the mouth for ~30 minutes, attacking and eventually dissolving tooth enamel.
TOOTH ENAMEL & CAVITIES
Enamel is the shiny outer layer of our teeth critically important in protecting them from infection. Once the acids break through the enamel, cavities begin to develop. Cavities are bacterial infections created by acids that produce holes in our teeth. When untreated, cavities attack deeper than the enamel causing tooth pain and eventual tooth loss.
MITIGATING TOOTH DAMAGE
Counteract the devastating effects of sugar by re-mineralizing and strengthening your teeth. Chewing sugar-free gum or eating fibrous fruits and vegetables will stimulate saliva which bathes your teeth in minerals. Dairy-based products like cheese and yogurt contain calcium and phosphates that will work to strengthen your teeth. Talk to your dentist about other ways you can prevent irreparable tooth damage.
ABOUT DR. DEAN SALO
Dr. Dean Salo is a Los Angeles cosmetic dentist with expertise in both general and cosmetic dentistry. Using specialized techniques, Dr. Dean Salo can fix cosmetic dental problems that others view as permanent damage. He can literally reinvigorate your smile.