Does Sugar Cause Cavities?

Two gingerbread houses covered in sugary candies in front of a lit Christmas tree

Image by White77 from Pixabay

From a young age, we learn that sugar is no friend to our teeth. We’re told that we should be careful with sweet things like soda and candy if we don’t want to get cavities. But avoiding sweets is especially difficult for most of us and especially the case during the holidays. Interestingly enough, sugar isn’t the sole culprit when it comes to cavities. Do you want to know what’s going on between sugar and your teeth? Read on to learn about the process involved that results in those dreaded cavities.

Feeding Ground For Bacteria

The mouth is full of bacteria, some good and some bad. And some of those bad ones feed on sugar. When they eat this sugar, they end up creating harmful acid. Acid is what wears away at your enamel and eventually deeper into the tooth. That hole that’s been formed from the decay is the cavity. So as you can see, it’s not as simple as saying that sugar is what’s burrowing into your teeth and leaving a cavity. It’s all a chain chemical reaction.

How to Avoid Cavities

While cutting down on sweets will certainly help you avoid cavities, there are also other steps you can take. For example, you can rinse your mouth with water after eating something sugary so that the sugar isn’t left to sit on your teeth and become fodder for bad bacteria. You can also chew Xylitol gum, which is a sugar-free gum, because that chewing will stimulate saliva production and saliva helps reverse mineral damage to the enamel.

Preventive Care

At Helotes Family Dentistry, we provide preventive dentistry to make sure you don’t have to deal with cavities. But if you do end up getting a cavity or two, we can fix that with tooth-colored fillings as part of our suite of restorative dental services. There’s no judgment at our local dental office, and we invite you to stop by to get the care you need for a healthy smile.

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Helotes Family Dentistry

Helotes Family Dentistry