Have you ever wondered just how sugar leads to one of the most destructive dental issues, cavities? Most of us are familiar with the warnings about how eating too much sugar can rot healthy teeth. Nevertheless, not many people understand the process, or why sugar’s a threat, and common misconceptions can hinder your efforts at effective cavity prevention. As your Grand Prairie dentist
, Dr. Quinn Smith warns, the real reason why sugar is a threat to your teeth lies with something that naturally inhabits your mouth—oral bacteria, which convert sugar into something more dangerous.
When Bacteria Feed
Your mouth is a forest that, at any given moment, houses about 600 different kinds of bacteria. Notable among them is the germ, Streptococcus mutans
, the microbe that consumes sugar and other fermentable carbohydrates, then converts them into organic acid. Like any acid, the one produced by your mouth’s bacteria erodes its target, which, in this case, is the highly-mineralized protective layer of tooth enamel surrounding your teeth. Under normal circumstances, enamel can regain its composure between acid attacks by absorbing more minerals afterwards. When you snack on sugar excessively, however, the constant barrage of acid can erode enamel quicker than it can regain its strength, leaving your teeth vulnerable to cavity-causing bacteria.
Negating the Effects of Acid
If you believe that sugar, and sugar alone, is the main cause of cavities, you might falsely believe that simply cutting sugar out of your diet should prevent tooth decay. The truth, however, is that S. mutans
consume and metabolize other carbohydrates, too, and neutralizing bacterial acid requires controlling bacteria as well as their food. Brushing and flossing your teeth every day is an excellent start, and visiting your dentist regularly will help Dr. Smith keep track of your hygiene’s effectiveness. If early signs of a cavity are detected, Dr. Smith can help you prevent its full formation with adequate early treatment.
About Your Grand Prairie Dentist:
Dr. Quinn Smith is a well-respected and highly experienced dentist in Grand Prairie, TX. He takes a patient-first approach that starts from the moment patients enter our Park Tree Dental
office, and he offers a three-year guarantee on all dental work that he performs. Whether you’re a new or returning patient, you can schedule a consultation or your next appointment with Dr. Smith by contacting us
at (972) 262-5111.