Sugar is the number one enemy when it comes to dental health. But is sugar the only enemy that teeth have? And how much sugar is too much? According to Dentist Phoenix, dental health can be maintained or at least promoted with a balanced diet. Magnesium, calcium, and other minerals promote dental health, while sugar is more likely to be harmful. The daily diet has an enormous impact on the health of the teeth, jaw, and gums.
On the one hand, there is tooth cleaning, on the other hand, there are drinks and food, which are responsible for the condition of the dentition. Caries bacteria are responsible for destruction, which only form in interaction with food. Gastric juice, which is particularly common in reflux disease, also attacks the teeth. The same applies to vomiting because the acid in the vomit is very aggressive.
The way people eat also plays a role. Foods that need to be chewed properly stimulate salivation and this ensures a natural cleansing of the oral cavity. This is also the reason why sugar-free chewing gum is recommended when it is not possible to brush your teeth after a meal.
The influence of sugar on the teeth
A large amount of sugar is the main reason for the emergence of caries bacteria and the development of dental diseases from them. However, sugar-free food is hardly possible today, as there are hidden sugar contents in many products. It is not only chocolate and other sweets in which sugar is contained but above all ready-made food. Whether soups or microwave dishes – hardly any finished production can do without sugar.
A regular intake of sugar favors the growth of caries bacteria. Particularly treacherous is the combination of sour and sweet, which is supplied, for example, when consuming cola drinks. The phosphoric acid contained in the drink softens the tooth enamel and attacks it. A large amount of sugar contained in the cola in turn ensures a rapid spread of the bacteria. If such drinks are drunk throughout the day, dental health is acutely endangered.
The oral cavity is an ideal breeding ground for bacteria because here there is a constant heat and there are numerous niches in which they can hide the pathogens. With thorough oral hygiene, worse damage can be stopped, but in many cases, sugar is consumed throughout the day, putting dental health at permanent risk.
Keep sugar consumption as harmless as possible
Of course, hardly anyone wants to do without sugar completely, the piece of chocolate or the delicious cake tastes much too good. The risk of dental disease caused by sugar can be reduced if some precautions are taken when consuming it. Above all, care should be taken to ensure that the sugar is not constantly absorbed throughout the day. Incidentally, this applies not only to food but also to drinks. Whether cola or fruit juices, sweetened tea or coffee, drinks containing sugar are unsuitable for the whole day, as they attack the tooth enamel sustainably.
After eating sugary foods, the teeth should be brushed so as not to give the bacteria a chance to spread. Depending on the type of sugar consumed, however, it is necessary to wait at least half an hour. A glass of apple juice, for example, contains not only sugar but also fruit acid. This acid attacks the tooth enamel and softens it. If the toothbrush is used immediately after consumption, the softened tooth enamel can be injured and the bacteria can penetrate even more easily.
Sweets are ideally consumed with a meal or as a separate meal, rather than throughout the day. Dental health should eat a whole bar of chocolate at once instead of snacking on a small piece of it over and over again. Thus, the teeth can be brushed after consumption and the risk of bacterial spread is low.
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Food affects gums and teeth
Not only the direct effect of diet on the teeth is a problem, but also the indirect influence that is exerted. Nutrition affects the microorganisms in the plaques that settle on the teeth. Even if there is always a certain bacterial flora in the oral cavity, the tooth enamel can be attacked and cause caries. Especially long-lasting acid attacks are responsible when a hole forms in the tooth.
For the bacteria present in the oral cavity to be able to damage the tooth enamel at all, carbohydrates must first be decomposed. The degradation produces acidic degradation products, which in turn attack the tooth enamel. Sugar consists of molecules that are easy to split and can be easily broken down by the bacteria. Especially the classic table sugar promotes the formation of plaques. All bacteria of the oral cavity can break down table sugar and thereby produce acid.
But fructose and glucose are also among the plaque-promoting sugars. Dextrose or sugar-sweet banana is also a risk factor for dental health. However, this is often not known at all, because, for example, the banana is perceived as fruit and is thus subconsciously automatically classified as healthy. Even after eating a banana, a tooth cleaning is called for to prevent the development of harmful acid.
Bacteria are in the mood for sugar
Amazingly, the amount of sugar is not decisive, but the type of sugar intake. It also plays a role in how long the sugar is present for the bacteria as dental plaque and how much time the bacteria have to produce their acid. If sugar is offered constantly throughout the day, saliva is no longer able to implement its natural cleansing function. This is the case, for example, with the constant consumption of sugary drinks, chewing gum, or sweets.
If saliva is omitted as a cleaner, manual cleaning of the teeth and oral cavity is essential. If the tooth enamel is no longer sufficiently mineralized by the saliva, only a few calcium phosphates are stored in the enamel. This makes it soft and porous, the next caries lesion is only a matter of time. After consuming sugar, brushing your teeth with fluoride toothpaste is essential, but the tongue should also be cared for.
The sticky sugar and its residues settle between the teeth, on the mucous membrane, and the tongue. Only with comprehensive dental hygiene can the molecules be eliminated and the bacteria prevented from spreading. A fluoride-containing toothpaste is particularly important because it has a caries-inhibiting property. Tooth protection is increased and tooth enamel becomes more resistant to attacks by bacteria.