Are you sugar sweet addicted? Then you must check out.
It’s common knowledge that sugar is bad for your teeth, but it wasn’t always so. In fact, when the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle first observed that sweet foods like soft figs caused tooth decay, nobody believed him. But as science has progressed, one thing is certain — sugar causes tooth decay. That said sugar on its own is not the culprit. Rather, the chain of events that takes place afterward is to blame. This article takes a detailed look at how sugar affects your teeth and how you can prevent tooth decay. Many different types of bacteria live in your mouth. Some are beneficial to your dental health, but others are harmful. For example, studies have shown that a selected group of harmful bacteria produce acid in your mouth whenever they encounter and digest sugar .These acids removes minerals from the tooth enamel, which is the shiny, protective, outer layer of your tooth. This process is called demineralization. The good news is that your saliva helps to constantly reverse this damage in a natural process called remineralization. The minerals in your saliva, such as calcium and phosphate, in addition to fluoride from toothpaste and water, help the enamel repair itself by replacing minerals lost during an “acid attack.” This helps strengthen your teeth. However, the repeated cycle of acid attacks causes mineral loss in the enamel. Over time, this weakens and destroys the enamel, forming a cavity. Simply put, a cavity is a hole in the tooth caused by tooth decay. It’s the result of harmful bacteria digesting the sugar in foods and producing acids. If left untreated, the cavity can spread into the deeper layers of the tooth, causing pain and possible tooth loss. The signs of tooth decay include a toothache, pain when chewing and sensitivity to sweet, hot or cold foods and drinks. Our mouth is a constant battleground of demineralization and remineralization. Nonetheless, cavities occur when bacteria in your mouth digest sugar and produce acid, which weakens tooth enamel.
In recent years, researchers have found that certain food habits matter when it comes to the formation of cavities.
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. One recent study among school children found that those who snacked on cookies and potato chips were four times more likely to develop cavities than children who did not.
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. In a study it was found that drinking 1–2 sugar-sweetened beverages a day was linked to a 31% higher risk of cavities. What’s more, one study involving more than 20,000 adults showed that just one occasional sugary drink resulted in a 44% increase in the risk of losing 1–5 teeth, compared to those who did not drink any sugary drinks. This means that drinking a sugary drink more than twice daily nearly triples your risk of losing more than six teeth. Fortunately, one study found that reducing your sugar intake to less than 10% of daily calories decreases your risk of tooth decay. Sugar plays a role in the formation of cavities. A little of the sugar in the food we eat gets left in the mouth even after we swallow and these traces of sugar are what bacteria live on.
“Sticky foods” are those that provide long-lasting sources of sugar, such 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. The end result is prolonged periods of demineralization and shortened periods of remineralization. Even processed, starchy foods such as potato chips, tortilla chips and flavored crackers may linger in your mouth and cause.
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