Have you ever heard someone saying, don’t eat sugar it may harm your teeth? My mum used to tell me this when I was a kid. And I guess everyone has heard this saying. Yes, the excess amount of sugar harms our oral health. But you know, sugar alone does not cause any harm to our teeth. Let us know how sugar causes harm and how cavities are formed in our teeth.
Doctors advise not to take more than 12 teaspoons of sugar daily. But on average our daily consumption of sugar is just double the recommended amount, that is 24 teaspoons. 40 to 50 grams of sugar is enough daily for an adult. Also, many people think that sugar is only present in sweets and candies. But the truth is every meal we consume contains sugar in different amounts.
How cavities are formed?
Certain kinds of bacteria are present in our mouth, some are good bacteria which are important for our oral health while some are bad bacteria that cause harm to our oral health. Sugar solely is not responsible for cavities. When sugar comes in contact with a set of harmful bacteria they produce acid in your mouth.
Our tooth is made up of many layers, one of them is enamel. A mineral is present in the enamel which protects the tooth, also is responsible for the shining of the tooth. The acid which is produced after reacting with sugar removes the mineral from the enamel. This process of removal of the mineral is called demineralization.
But don’t worry the removal of the mineral is not permanent. The saliva present in our mouth helps in the process of remineralization, which means it repairs the damage caused to enamel nature. You want to know how? Minerals like calcium and phosphate are present in our saliva when they meet with water and fluoride (which is present in the toothpaste) causes the repair to the enamel’s mineral.
However, the repetition of the ‘acid attack’ on the teeth causes the weakening of teeth which results in the formation of cavities. The cavity is simply a hole in the teeth which is caused by repeated demineralization. The cavity can later cause pain or even tooth loss if it is not treated properly. Cavity formation is most common in kids because they eat sweet candies more than adults. So it is important to maintain precautions from an early age to avoid tooth decay and pain of the elderly.
How dental plaques are formed?
Streptococcus sobrinus and Streptococcus mutans are the two harmful bacteria. These bacteria when come in contact with sugar form dental plaque. The plaque is colorless but sticky particles that cover the outer layer of the teeth. The plaque is acidic, and they become more acidic when it is not cleaned properly with the toothbrush. Saliva also helps in clearing the plaque, but if the clearing process does not happen properly then the plaque starts to form cavities in the teeth.
Disadvantages of consumption of sugar:
- Yes, consumption of sugar indeed implies a lot of calories but nutrients are not present in those calories. A study has shown that the one who consumes a rich sugar diet lacks vitamin C and A.
- You should consume 10% sugar in the total consumption of food. High sugar consumption raises the glucose and blood pressure in one’s body and it may cause hyperactivity.
- Sugar causes tooth decay and tooth loss.
- Not only tooth decay, but excessive sugar also causes gum disease.
- Bad bacteria are attracted towards sugar and it lowers the pH balance of our mouth.
How to promote remineralization?
The most important thing to promote remineralization is cutting down your sugar consumption, this will help the mineral to fight the bad bacteria. Sugarless gums are good teeth, it will strengthen enamel by repairing the mineral. Products rich in Calcium and Phosphate help in teeth strengthening, so you can go for dairy products for this. The toothpaste that is rich in fluoride is also very beneficial in the process of remineralization. Magnesium is also good for the removal of sugar for this milk is the best option.
After eating sugar-rich meals you should take milk or other magnesium, calcium, and phosphate-rich products that will help to remove sugar immediately from your teeth and minimize the process of demineralization. Also, don’t forget to brush your teeth twice a day. Many dentists recommend brushing thrice, just after each meal you take.
You should not ignore sugar completely. Sugar is very important for a balanced diet. For this, honey is the best source, also it is very beneficial for your health. Honey has many health benefits as it helps in digestion, helps to get glowing skin, helps in losing weight and it is sweet.