Is Sugar to Blame for My Cavities?
When you were younger, your parents may have told you that sugar rots your teeth. And they weren’t wrong: sugary and acidic foods are known to cause cavities, especially if you don’t follow a proper oral healthcare routine.
What Causes a Cavity?
Cavities are areas of permanent decay on teeth. Decay starts as demineralization in the enamel, the outer layer of teeth. Demineralized areas are temporarily weakened. If the area is not fortified with minerals, it erodes into holes that extend through the enamel and into the middle layer, called the dentin. This can cause tooth sensitivity. If the decay reaches the innermost tooth layer, called the pulp, your tooth is at risk for infection and loss.
When oral bacteria consume your dietary sugar, they produce acidic byproducts that demineralize, or remove minerals from the teeth. Naturally acidic foods can also demineralize teeth.
Your risk of tooth decay is increased with poor oral hygiene; a diet high in simple sugars, starches, and acid; dehydration and dry mouth; tobacco use; and crevices and grooves in the teeth that trap food particles and bacteria.
How to prevent cavities
Decay is reversible in the early stages with improved oral health habits:
- Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time
- Floss your teeth every day
- Maintain a balanced diet full of fiber, protein, and vitamins and minerals
- Drink plenty of water
- Avoid sugary chewing gum
- Avoid tobacco products
- Visit your dentist for comprehensive examinations, professional dental cleanings, fluoride treatments, and dental sealants
How to treat cavities
If you already have a cavity, dental fillings are a quick and pain-free way to remove the damage and seal up your tooth against infection. At your checkup, we will evaluate the health of your teeth and discuss our treatment recommendations to restore your smile.
Our practice welcomes patients of all financial backgrounds, and we offer affordable financing to fit any budget. Contact Donald Kim, DDS, Family and Cosmetic Dentistry today to learn more about our practice and to schedule an appointment!
February 28, 2022 2:14 am