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The Impact Of Sugar On Teeth

Posted on November 11, 2021

Sugar is bad for our teeth and negatively impacts our overall health as well. There is no good sugar. Natural sugar, brown sugar, sugar from honey, granulated- they are all harmful to our teeth and health.

Sugar tastes really, really good. Some studies suggest that sugar is as addictive as cocaine. Sugar activates the opiate receptors in our brain and affects the reward center. There is a dopamine release that people enjoy, “the sugar high.”

Negative Systemic Effects Of Sugar

  1. Diabetes
  2. Obesity
  3. High blood pressure
  4. Coronary artery disease
  5. Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia

Negative Effects Of Sugar On Teeth

  1. Caries (cavities)
  2. Gingivitis
  3. Periodontitis
  4. Bad breath

Etiology of Decay and Periodontal Disease

  1. Gram-negative, anaerobic bacteria like streptococcus mutans and streptococcus sobrinus are always present in our mouths.
  2. Starches and complex sugars are broken down by salivary hormones to sucrose.
  3. Simple, sticky sugars (sucrose) combine with the bacteria to form plaque. Sugar then increases mouth acidity (mouth acids spike for twenty minutes after eating sugar).
  4. If plaque is not removed it hardens into calculus (tooth tartar).
  5. The bacteria in the plaque produce an acid that eats away at the outer covering of the tooth (enamel) causing decay, dental abscesses, root canals, and even extractions.
  6. The sheer bulk of the tartar along with the acids produced causes the gum (gingiva) to separate from the tooth causing a pocket.
  7. The pockets collect more food debris (sugar) and bacteria. Gums swell and bleed, and infection forms. Teeth then become loose and are lost to periodontitis.
  8. The bacteria in the pockets enter the bloodstream in the gums and travel throughout the body.
  9. Science has shown these oral bacteria are present in the plaque in coronary artery disease, and in the amyloids found in the brain with Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Sugars Can Be Disguised -These Products Are Bad For Our Teeth

  1. Maple syrup
  2. Honey
  3. Granulated white processed sugar
  4. Molasses
  5. Corn syrup
  6. Amazake
  7. Fructose
  8. Carob powder
  9. Evaporated cane juice
  10. Maltose
  11. Dextrose
  12. High fructose corn syrup
  13. Fruit juice concentrate

Tips To Decrease The Negative Effects Of Sugar

  1. Limit consumption of sugar including soft drinks and energy drinks.
  2. Drink water while eating to rinse your mouth.
  3. Brush teeth 2x daily for two minutes with non abrasive fluoride toothpaste.
  4. Floss teeth 1x daily before going to sleep.
  5. Don’t eat sticky, sugary foods such as candy.
  6. Cut down on carbohydrates and starches as they are broken down to simple sugars in the mouth.
  7. Use a fluoride mouth rinse that is alcohol-free.
  8. Maintain regular checkups at 209 NYC Dental.

209 NYC Dental

Our dental team consisting of our doctors and hygienists is here to instruct you on proper brushing technique, flossing, and diet. An ounce of prevention is worth not having root canal therapy and a crown. So come in, make an appointment, and let us guide you into a healthy and beautiful smile.

About Dr. Steven Kafko

Guided by the belief that being a highly skilled specialist in a narrow field is better than being ordinary in everything Dr. Kafko has grown 209 NYC Dental into one of the leading NYC multi-specialty dental practices that it is today. Having extensive cross-specialty training with decades of experience, and strive to provide his patients with the most appropriate dental care Dr. Kafko succeeded in becoming an excellent diagnostic dentist. His skills to triage the most comprehensive dental treatment that a patient may require are highly appreciated by patients and his colleagues.

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