Is sugar responsible for causing tooth decay?
WHY SUGAR PRODUCES CARIES
Why does sugar cause cavities?
A diet high in simple sugars is the main cause of tooth decay, affecting more and more young people (childhood caries).
The reason that sugar causes cavities is because it serves food to the bacteria that cause caries (cariogenic bacteria) found in the mouth.
Bacteria ferment sugars left in your mouth after meals and produce lactic acid. This acid lowers the pH of the mouth, so, when it comes to very acidic values (5.5), it is harmful to the tooth enamel, which is decalcified, and the tooth loses its protection.
When the enamel is weakened, the tissue inside the tooth is susceptible to be attacked by acids, which can reach all tooth.
Is sugar the only responsible for caries?
Caries is not proportional to the amount of sugar in food, but to the time the teeth are exposed to sugar.
Sugary and sticky foods, such as sweets, are the most cariogenic
One of the factors that produce more decay is eating between meals. If you peck between meals (coffee with sugar between meals, cookies, candy, etc..), The teeth are continually affected by acids produced by food.
When we eat a food containing sugar, the teeth are attacked by acids for 20 minutes.
In general, the more cariogenic foods are those high in sugar and, besides, those that are viscous, so that they can stay longer in the mouth: candies, chocolate, honey, etc.
Chocolate is much responsible for tooth decay
Why chewing a chewing gum after eating can prevent caries?
Chewing gum after eating is a good remedy against tooth decay because it counteracts the acidity that food produces, and also stimulates salivation, which is a natural defense against mouth bacteria .
We must choose chewing gums and sugar preferably containing sodium bicarbonate, which is the substance that increases the pH of the mouth and neutralizes the acid damage. Generally these are advertised for gum and oral health to ” chew after eating.”
What is the solution to avoid sugar causing decay?
The teeth are not able to regenerate, but ” they are for life.” For this reason. we should take care of them with hygiene practices like brushing our teeth after meals, making fluoride rinses at least 2-3 times a week, and passing a floss at least at night, to remove food debris between teeth.
* Related: How to clean your teeth properly.
More information about tooth decay diet.
24 February, 2021