We all know that eating and drinking too much sugar can cause a variety of different symptoms in your body. Sugar in particular is especially bad for your teeth and gums – but do we know why? Sugar plays a harmful role in tooth decay and can damage your teeth if you do not know how much sugar is in your intake or take care of your teeth. It is very important to be aware of what food and drinks you should try and avoid and also which ones are good to eat for healthy teeth. There are also some actions to take to prevent bad tooth decay from happening but first let’s talk about what tooth decay actually is and how it can begin.
The sugar we consume from food and drink is used by bacteria found in plaque (a sticky film that can build up over teeth) in your mouth to make acids. These acids damage and slowly dissolve and break down tooth enamel creating holes or ‘dental cavities’ to form in the teeth which can then lead to gum disease, fillings and possibly tooth loss.
Your saliva is used to try and wash these bacteria away, and this can be very difficult depending on how much plaque has accumulated in the area .The plaque uses the sugar we eat and drink as a form of energy to thrive on your teeth and gums. It is not necessarily the sugar itself we consume that does the damage – it is what happens and takes place in your mouth after eating starchy/sugary things and the aftercare to follow that is important. Did you know that the acids can attack teeth for up to 20 minutes after you finished eating!
Fibre rich fruit and vegetables such as bananas, apples, beans, peas, dried fruits, bran and chewing sugarless chewing gum is a great way to get saliva flowing. Saliva contains minerals like calcium and phosphates which is excellent as it helps repair the teeth. Dairy products like milk cheese and yogurt are also a brilliant calcium source for strong healthy teeth. Our hygienist at the Marylebone Implant Centre can help get rid of any plaque build up by using a variety of techniques to suit each patient. If you would like to know more about this treatment or are interested in having it done you can contact the Marylebone Implant Centre on 02034342934 via email at [email protected] to book an appointment.
Another mineral which is called Fluoride, can help repair weakened enamel so drink plenty of fluoridated water .Try to brush twice a day or after each meals with a fluoride toothpaste and floss daily. Although this is very important as part of your daily home dental hygiene regime, limiting the amount of sugar intake is key to help reduce the production of acid in the mouth. If consuming sweet things try and have them at a meal time when lots of saliva is being produced and go for ones that clear out of the mouth quickly. Sweet things such as lollipops, toffee and caramels lurk around for longer in the mouth.
Everyone is at risk of tooth decay and it is estimated that 1 in 3 adults suffers from dental cavities. Many of us are unaware as to how much sugar is in our everyday food. A common misconception is how much is in what we drink. If a soft drink says “sugar free” or is a diet drink it can still contain the acids that harm your teeth. Here is a quick guide to help monitor your drinks:
Low Acidity Drinks that you are advised to drink plenty of :
Water & Milk
Medium Acidity Drinks that are advised to only be drank less frequently:
Juice, tea & coffee
High Acidity drinks that are advised to be consumed rarely – if at all :
Sports Energy Drinks, Soft Drinks, and diet soft drinks
Having your teeth cleaned and checked by a dental professional regularly is essential to maintain a healthy mouth and gums and to get rid of plaque build up. Contact the Marylebone Implant Centre on 02034342934 via email at [email protected] to book an appointment to see our hygienist for a thorough clean or if you think you may have a problem with your gums, our consultant Dr Molins who has a special interest in gums (periodontal treatment) can help with any issues you may have or are concerned about.