Most of us enjoy a sweet treat or a decadent dessert from time to time and there’s nothing wrong with this; however, excessive and regular consumption of sugar can have a very harmful impact on oral health, as well as increasing the risk of general health conditions, such as diabetes.
Sugar is problematic for oral health because it contributes to erosion of the enamel. Enamel is a very hard substance, which forms the outer layer of the tooth and provides protection for the rest of the tooth. Although enamel is extremely strong, it can be eroded and worn away and once this happens, the risk of damage, injury and infection increases. Sugar is an issue because when you consume sugary foods or drinks, this prompts bacteria in your mouth to start feeding. When the bacteria feed, they release acids, which attack the enamel.
Your diet plays a very important role in your general and oral health. Sugar is present in many foods, but it is advisable to avoid eating a lot of foods, which have high sugar content, such as cakes, biscuits and sweets. When you eat is also very important, as the enamel is capable of resisting only a limited number of acid attacks per day; this means that if you graze and indulge in sweet treats all through the day, your teeth are under constant attack and eventually, this will contribute to damage and wear.
If you are treating yourself to a pudding or a chocolate bar, try to eat only at mealtimes and drink a glass of water or milk afterwards to reduce acidity in your mouth. Always wait around one hour to brush your teeth after eating, as this gives the enamel chance to recover.
If you have any questions about how your diet affects your oral health or you would like advice about healthy eating and cutting your sugar intake, we will be happy to help!
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