Sugar and Tooth Decay

By Published On: August 15th, 2022Categories: Uncategorized0 Comments on Sugar and Tooth Decay

What is dental decay?

Dental decay is the development of cavities (holes) in the teeth. In Australian children, it is the most prevalent oral disease and the most widespread noncommunicable disease.

Bacteria, or plaque, is a thin and sticky film which repeatedly forms over teeth. When plaque interacts with sugar, it produces an acid which slowly dissolves the tooth structure creating cavities in the teeth. If the decay progresses, it will reach the nerve in the tooth causing an abscess, which may result in the tooth being removed.

Who can get dental decay?

Everyone is susceptible to dental decay! There is a common misconception that baby teeth will fall out anyways, so decay in them “don’t matter”. This is far from the truth!

If a baby tooth is removed, it can cause the other teeth to “drift” into that space and not allow the adult teeth to come through in their desired position.

The habits which have allowed dental decay to form on the baby teeth, if unchanged, will lead to decay on adult teeth!

That’s why its so important for regular check-ups with your Kareela dentist so these habits can be identified early, so they can be addressed!

What is the role of sugar?

Sugars in food and drinks play a major role in the development of dental caries. Bacteria within the plaque use the sugar as energy and release acid as a waste product, which gradually dissolves the enamel in the teeth causing dental decay.

A steady of supply of sugar foods and drinks, including sports and energy drinks, will consistently allow the bacteria to form acid. Snacking or “grazing” all day long can also lead to tooth decay, even if its fruit or milk as they are full of sugar as well! Sipping on sugary drinks for a long time also causes consistent acid attacks on the enamel.

Reducing how frequent sugar is being exposed to bacteria will prevent the bacteria from forming cavities!

Low sugar frequency is key!

How do I reduce dental decay?

  • Limit sugar drinks and snacks between meals
  • Have sugary foods and drinks with main meals
  • Chew sugar-free gum
    • Chewing sugar-free gum will increase the amount of saliva production which will help neutralize the acid in the mouth
  • Drink water
  • Brush and floss twice a day
  • See your dentist regularly
    • At Kareela Family Dental, we recommend 6 monthly check-ups so we can prevent problems from happening!

If you or your child would like to find out more, Contact Us your local Kareela Dentist today or Book Online.