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  • Writer's pictureDr Kumarswamy's PerioFamily Advanced Dentistry

How can sugar affect your dental health?

Overeating sugar can harm your dental health as it is the main enemy of your teeth. It's common knowledge that sugar is terrible for your teeth, but it wasn't always so. Sugar may seem harmless, but it can have far-reaching health implications for people who eat it.

You may be familiar with the saying, "too much candy will rot your teeth", you know that sugar has an impact on dental health. The culprit is not sugar on its own. Instead, the chain of events that takes place afterwards is to blame.

sugar is bad for your teeth

The mouth is full of bacteria; some may be beneficial, while others seem to be harmful. The harmful bacteria feed on the sugar you consume. It creates acids that attack and damage your tooth enamel, the protective, shiny outer layer of your teeth. A bacterial infection is formed by acid that could lead to cavities and cause holes in your teeth. If left untreated, cavities can advance past your enamel into your tooth's deeper layers, leading to potential tooth loss and pain.

Sugar and Teeth Facts

  • 96% of adults have had cavities despite them being extremely preventable.

  • Almost 70% of people brush their teeth twice daily.

  • 21% of adults have or did have moderate to severe gum problems.

Reasons Why Sugar is Bad for your teeth and health

Immune Function

Sugar interferes with healthy immune function. It may suppress the active immune response in the body. Bacteria and yeast may cause an imbalance that naturally occurs in the body to react to sugars.

Unstable Blood Glucose

Blood glucose levels spike sharply and then fall due to simple sugars. Excessive levels of blood glucose can make people feel tired and unwell. They may also feel emotional mood swings and blood glucose highs and lows.

Obesity, Heart Disease, Cancer, and Diabetes

Heart Disease is connected with diets high in sugar. A person's risk of obesity increases by eating sugar. The connection with high-glycemic diets causes some types of cancer.

Tooth Decay

Tooth decay has a direct connection with sugar. These molecules combine with saliva and bacteria after eating foods that contain sugar. This combination leads to plaque on the teeth. If left on teeth, plaque can dissolve enamel which leads to cavities. Make it a habit to brush after eating to control bacteria and plaque on teeth.

Gum Disease

Sugar may cause gum disease in the mouth, advancing if left untreated. Gum disease can also cause coronary artery disease. It can advance to periodontitis, which involves both gum tissues and the bones beneath the gums.

What are the Dietary Habits that cause Tooth Decay?

1. Consumption of High-sugar snacks.

2. Sipping Sugary Beverages.

3. Eating Sticky Foods.

4. Drinking Acidic Beverages.

5. Consumption of Sweets.

The "So-Called" Healthy snacks that may have a large amount of sugar: -

1. Yoghurt.

2. Smoothies.

3. Trail mix.

4. Oatmeal.

5. Salad Dressing.

Tips to protect your teeth

Brush Often

You need to keep your teeth clean even if you have a busy schedule. Carry a portable toothbrush, change your brush often, use a mouth rinse, etc.

Consume Sugary Foods with your Meal

Before you eat a meal, it is the best time to consume sugary foods. The saliva you generate as you eat your meal will help wash away the sugars from your teeth. Chew After Eating - If you find no time to brush your teeth or rinse your mouth out after consuming a meal, chew on a piece of cheese, it may help neutralize the teeth-damaging acids.

Watch your Diet

Tooth decay and gum disease are caused by an unhealthy diet. Most foods contain sugar. Healthy and nutritious food like vegetables and milk too. The key is to control how much sugar you're consuming by choosing food and drinks with low added sugars and reading food labels.

Signs you're consuming too much sugar

1. Cavities.

2. Breaking out in acne.

3. Feeling wiped out or tired.

4. Less feeling of being full.

5. High blood pressure or cholesterol diagnosis.

Warning Signs of Gum disease

1. Separating or loose teeth.

2. Swollen, tender or red gums.

3. Persistent bad breath.

4. Bad taste.

5. Gums pulling away from your teeth.

6. Pus between your gums.

7. Pus between your teeth while pressing gums.

8. The difference in how your partial dentures fit.

9. Change in your bite.

10. Bleeding gums while you eat hard foods, brush or floss.

The Bottom Line

To fight the effects of sugar on your dental health, keep your intake of high-sugar foods and beverages to a minimum, especially between meals and right before bedtime.

Practising a healthy lifestyle and taking good care of your teeth are the best ways to win the battle against tooth decay.

Finally, one of the best ways to reduce sugar's effects on your dental health is to make dental appointments with a trusted dental provider. We, Dr Kumarswamy's team, is here to help!


Visit Dr Kumarswamy's Dental Clinic to know how stress affects your oral health without you knowing about it. Our clinic provides the treatments required to improve your oral health and hygiene. Contact us to schedule your next dentist appointment.


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