Link between tooth decay and sugar


It’s probably something you’ve been hearing from your dentist ever since you were a child – “If you eat all those sweets you’ll rot your teeth!” However, do you really know the true link between tooth decay and sugar? Let Bamboo Dental tell you all the facts… and let’s start off with one of the most interesting one…

Sugar is not actually the cause of tooth decay!

Okay, it might be true, but don’t go hitting the sweets quite yet! The main cause of tooth decay is actually acid. However, sugar causes the bacteria in your mouth to produce the acid that eventually damages your teeth. So, that is why sugar eventually causes tooth decay!

tooth decay

Sugar needs plaque to make acid!

Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that develops on your teeth and gums. It is constantly covering your teeth every day and you clean it off every time you brush your teeth (and that’s why brushing is so important!). When plaque comes in to contact with sugar, it produces an acid that will attack the teeth for about 20 minutes and eventually create small holes in your tooth’s enamel. This is when the real problems start!

Bacteria loves to hide in the small holes in your enamel!

Yep. There is nothing better for bacteria than a nice comfortable home for them to live in. If you don’t regularly brush your teeth, then bacteria will gather in those small holes and produce even more acid. The small hole will get bigger and bigger until you’ve finally got yourself a nice cavity. What happens next? Well, depends if you are regularly seeing your dentist! If you’re lucky they will spot the tooth decay early and give you a small filling, go through the whole process of telling you to knock off the sugar again and send you on your merry way!

What happens if I don’t visit my dentist regularly?

If that nasty cavity is left untreated the tooth decay will continue until it finally reaches the nerve. That’s when the real problems start and you get that infamous tooth ache. Ouch! If you aren’t careful you might end up with a nasty infection and have to have to more serious work done to treat the tooth!

Do I have to stop eating sugar all together?

No. First things first you should pay attention to how often your teeth are exposed to sugar. It is much kinder to your teeth to spend 5 minutes eating a chocolate bar instead of three hours or so drinking sugary drinks! Another great tip is to replace your favourite sugary snacks with healthier alternatives every now and again. Swap your favourite sugary drinks for a healthier sugar free alternative. Oh, and remember that fruit juices (especially from concentrate) are packed with sugar. It might be worth reducing your intake of orange juice while you’re at it too!

Pfft. I’m not giving up on my sugary drinks.

Okay. Well, remember to give Bamboo Dental a call when you start noticing the effects of sugar on your teeth. We’ll be happy to help you out with your tooth decay! Call today to find out about our Dental Plans and our amazing cosmetic treatments that we offer to recreate beautiful looking smiles.



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