Is Sugar Really So Bad for Teeth?

Is Sugar Really So Bad for Teeth?

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The Effects of Sugar on Teeth

With Halloween around the corner it’s easy to be craving candy but don’t let the holiday be a reason to wreak havoc on your mouth with cavities. While all foods cause build up sugar is the biggest offender, making your teeth susceptible to enamel erosion, cavities, and permanent damage.

How can something so sweet be so sinister?

Your mouth has a natural ecosystem balanced by good and bad bacteria but harmful oral bacteria use the sugars you eat to create acids. The acid destroys your tooth enamel leaving your tooth weak and susceptible to cavities.

Cavities are bacterial infections created by acids that leave holes in your teeth. Untreated, cavities can cause tooth and gum pain, and eventually tooth loss.

According to the World Health Organization, we should limit our added sugar intake to six teaspoons a day. The average American consumes 19.5 grams per day so the most effective preventative treatment would be to cut back on sugar intake considerably.

On Halloween, that number jumps to 384 grams of sugar, or 16 times the recommended sugar intake. 

What can we do about it?

Make sure to pack nutrient-dense meals full of protein and fibers to avoid that mindless moment of rummaging the cabinets for something sweet. Read the nutritional labels to find the sugar content and the hidden ingredients. Even reading the labels can be tricky these days, with sugar hiding in so many forms it can be hard to find an innocent treat.

Added sugars hide in 74% of packaged foods under as many as 61 different names. Here are some of the most frequently occurring names:

  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Sucrose
  • Barley malt
  • Dextrose
  • Maltose
  • Rice syrup
  • corn syrup
  • corn syrup solids
  • fructose
  • anhydrous dextrose

We know that sugar is bad, and we know that it can hide in several places, but what else can we do to protect our teeth? Here are 6 tips:

  1. Don’t snack all day
  2. Nix sugary beverages
  3. Use fluoride toothpaste
  4. Brush your teeth at least twice daily
  5. Floss at least once daily
  6. Swap candies for fruit

 

If you feel concerned about your oral health, or haven’t seen the dentist in a while call (865) 588-8202 to set up an appointment at Cakmes Studio today!

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Poor Dental Hygiene Affects More Than Just Your Mouth

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Dental Hygiene & Your Health

Did you know October is recognized as Dental Hygiene Month? We all know that skipping brushing and flossing can lead to cavities, gingivitis, and tooth loss, but studies have shown that poor oral hygiene can affect your whole body. From heart disease to low birth rate, forgetting to take good care of your mouth can take a toll on your body.

Here are a few diseases that poor oral hygiene can play a part in:

  • Cardiovascular disease
    Some studies show that bacterial infection in the mouth and gums can move into the bloodstream, attach to fatty plaques and cause inflammation in the blood vessels, increasing the risk of clots.
  • Dementia 
    Some studies suggest there is a correlation between periodontal disease and increased risk of dementia. The bacteria from gingivitis may enter the brain through the nervous system or the bloodstream leading to Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Diabetic complications
    Gum disease is more frequent and severe among people who have diabetes. Periodontal disease can make it harder to control blood sugar and worsen diabetic symptoms.
  • Pregnancy and Birth
    A study found in the NCBI confirms that mothers with Periodontal disease tend to produce relatively low birth weights as a result of poor dental hygiene.

Now that we know what poor hygiene and periodontal disease can cause, how do we prevent it?

  • Find the right toothbrush
    Brush with a soft or extra soft toothbrush because medium and hard bristles can damage enamel.
  • Floss Daily
    Brushing only cleans 70% of tooth surface area leaving a whopping 30% to be reached only through flossing.
  • Schedule regular dental check-ups and cleanings
    Tartar buildup cannot be cleaned with just regular brushing and flossing, dentists need to remove tartar buildup to prevent oral disease. They also check for oral and throat cancer.
  • Brush at least twice a day for two whole minutes
    Studies show that brushing for two minutes reduces plaque considerably compared to one minute of brushing. Brush a minimum of twice daily for two minutes each for optimal oral hygiene.
  • Brush more than just your teeth
    Gums, tongue, and top of your mouth also harbor bacteria so make sure to give them a good brush too.

If you think you may be experiencing periodontal disease, Cakmes Dental Studio in Knoxville is here to help. We are currently accepting new patients. Call (865) 584-6163 to schedule an appointment today!

 

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  • (865) 584-6163
  • (865) 588-8202
  • 6230 Highland Place Way
    Suite 201
    Knoxville, TN 37919




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