We all know that eating too many sugary foods can harm your teeth and cause tooth decay. However, sugar alone does not cause much damage. Instead, the chain of events that follow is what deals the most harm to your teeth. Read on to see how the process works.
The starting point is the mouth
There are tons of harmless and harmful bacteria present in your mouth. Certain oral bacteria feed on the sugars you eat and create acids that can destroy tooth enamel. This process is called demineralization.
Minerals in your saliva, like phosphate and calcium, help enamel repair itself. However, repeated acid attacks eventually cause mineral losses in the enamel, which eventually weakens the enamel and creates cavities.
In short, tooth decay causes cavities, which result in harmful bacteria digesting the food sugars and producing acids. If left unattended, the cavity can spread into deep layers of the tooth, causing pain and tooth loss.
By limiting your sugar intake, you can give your mouth a chance to fix the damage.
Sugar is a magnet for harmful bacteria
The two types of harmful bacteria found in the mouth are Streptococcus mutans and Streptococcus sorbrinus. Both feed on sugar and form dental plaque, a colorless, sticky film that builds around the surface of the teeth.
If the plaque is not washed away while brushing or with saliva, the mouth becomes more acidic, which causes cavities.
The pH scale is used to measure acidic levels in a solution. The neutral pH level is 7. If the pH of plaque drops below normal or is lesser than 5.5, the acid levels cause minerals to dissolve and eventually destroy the tooth’s enamel. This process leads to small erosions, and over time they become larger, creating deeper holes or cavities.
Here are some tips to fight tooth decay
Practicing good oral health is very important to keep tooth decay away.
Eat a balanced diet, drink water instead of sugar-heavy drinks, maintain good oral hygiene, and visit your dentist in West Des Moines for regular dental check-ups every six months.