Navigating The Complex Relationship Between Sugar And Your Teeth

Sugar is known to harm teeth, but this is not always true. Not many people took Aristotle of ancient Greece seriously when he first noticed that sugary foods like soft figs cause cavities. But as science has developed, it has become apparent that sugar causes tooth decay. However, sugar alone is not causing the issue. Instead, the subsequent series of events are to blame. If your teeth are damaged due to intake of sugar foods and require dental treatment, contact a dentist in Oak Lawn, IL.

Sweet surrender: Navigating the complex relationship between sugar and your teeth

Cavities or holes in the teeth, commonly referred to as tooth decay or “dental caries,” are caused by the mouth’s acid destroying the enamel and dentine. Plaque, a thin, sticky film continuously developing on the teeth, carries bacteria accountable for producing the acid. Sugar interacts with the bacteria in the plaque to produce acid when swallowed. Because it gradually erodes the enamel, this acid causes holes or cavities in the teeth, which is the root of tooth decay. Tooth decay can lead to abscesses, which may need removal of the affected tooth.  

Understanding the Names of Sugar

You must be conscious of how much sugar is present in a food by checking the nutrition information label. The quantity of added sugar does not vary from naturally occurring sugar on the label, though.

Check the ingredients list to identify extra sugars. Some obvious signs that an ingredient contains added sugar are as follows:

  • It contains syrup, such as corn syrup or rice syrup.
  • The term ends in “ose”(for instance, fructose, sucrose, maltose, and dextrose)
  • The word “sugar” is in the name (such as confectionery sugar, cane sugar, raw sugar).
  • Fruit nectars, juice concentrates, honey, agave nectars, molasses, and other sweeteners are additional types of added sugar.

Foods with Sugar Hidden

Most people understand that sweets and candies have added sugar, but are there additional sources that are less obvious? There may be a lot of sugar added in certain “healthy” items that many individuals would believe to be so, like:

  • Morning cereal

A simple mention of “whole grain” or “fortified with vitamins and minerals” does not imply the fact that sugar is not there.

  • Yogurt

Make sure to look at the nutrition data label if you enjoy flavored yogurt. It comes as a surprise to see the quantity of sugar you are consuming.

  • Condiments

Sometimes, a meal needs a little more kick. However, you must be careful because it could raise your sugar intake. Added sugars are present in ketchup, BBQ sauce, teriyaki sauce, hoisin sauce, salad dressings, and relish.

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