How Sugar Affects Your Oral Health
You may be familiar with the old adage: “Don’t eat all that sugar, it’ll rot your teeth out.” And maybe that isn’t as far off as we were once led to believe.
Sugar is known to cause tooth decay, but very few are aware of how this can take place. After all, it isn’t necessarily the sugar causing tooth decay but the bacteria in your mouth. One you eat a cookie, a piece of cake, or candy, the bacteria are ready to feast!
As the bacteria eat the leftover sugars, acids are produced and slowly destroy the protective coating, tooth enamel, covering your teeth. The acids slowly cause holes in your teeth which can lead to cavities, pain, and frustration.
Not only are your teeth at risk, but so are your gums. Excessive sugar intake can lead to gum disease in the mouth which can advance quickly if left untreated.
How can you watch out for your sugar intake? First, be aware of how much sugar you consume in a single day. From protein bars, sodas, lattes, and your Acai bowl, sugar is in just about everything, even if it’s only a small amount.
Natural sugars exist in fruit and dairy products, added sugars are in syrups in sodas, chocolate, and ice cream, and free sugars are in honey and fruit juices. Both added and free sugars do not provide essential nutrients to the body and add extra calories along with extra risk for tooth decay.
Not only can sugar harm teeth and gums, it can harm your brain with impaired learning as well as memory loss. Noteworthy is sugar causing anxiety, irritability, wrinkles, early aging, and can contribute to heart disease and diabetes.
So how do you prevent yourself from going off the deep end with sugars? First, know your daily limit and stick with it. By understanding how much you should be eating, you can limit your extra eating and drinking. Next, cook at home and limit your take out and junk food. If you stick to cooking at home, you quickly realize what is going in your body and can curb unwanted habits.
By following these simple steps, you’ll be easily able to prevent tooth decay and stay actively healthy in your oral hygiene and physical health!