Sugar has a direct impact on the health of your teeth and mouth in general. While the amount, type and form of the sugars can also depend on the severity of the impact, generally speaking all sugars cause the same effect. When sugars intermingle with your saliva and begin to get processed by the gnashing of your teeth, the pH levels in your mouth and saliva are affected. You may not think of your saliva as acidic but it actually is. The level of acidity in your mouth helps control the bacterial environment in your mouth; if the pH levels decrease then the environment becomes more hospitable and promotes bacteria growth. Conversely, if your acidity levels were to rise too much, it could cause damage to your teeth and other tissues. Anytime you eat something, even healthy foods, you create substrate in your mouth which is a bacteria-friendly surface where bacteria can grow easily. This is why brushing your teeth twice a day is so important; removing that bacteria-friendly substrate is a major key to your oral health.
The forms of sugars you ingest are also a significant factor in your overall oral health. A sugar that you drink and a sugar that you chew are both bad for your teeth but for different reasons. Sugars that come in liquid forms, such as sodas or juices, wash over your entire mouth and get into every nook and cranny of your teeth. This is harmful because, even with regular brushing, those sugars can sit in hard to reach places and allow bacteria to grow. Sugars that you chew are harmful because they can leave a larger than normal amount of residue on the teeth. This residue will not wash away with saliva; again, it creates a more than normal amount of substrate for bacteria. Even natural sugars can be harmful for your teeth but naturally occurring sugars aren’t as concentrated as artificial ones and they are generally ingested alongside other foods which are low in sugar. An example of this would be eating an apple. It’s not purely sugar and the apple itself is neither sticky nor a liquid. While residue will be left behind after consuming the apple, it will be much less so than with artificially created sugar products.
Dr. Boulden with Atlanta Dental Spa 3189 Maple Dr NE Atlanta, GA 30305, 404-816-2230, recommends a few simple things that you can do to maintain your oral health: change your toothbrush regularly to ensure you have good effective bristles, eat whole unprocessed foods to avoid added sugars, and brush and floss every day. Something else to keep in mind is mouthwashes. Mouthwashes are great for cleaning your whole mouth but you should always use one that is alcohol-free. Alcohol dries out the mouth, making it easier for bacteria to grow, so don’t quit rinsing, just use a different formula. A good example of such a mouth rinse is Restore not only alcohol free but an all natural product. Your oral health is critical to your overall health and poor teeth and gums can be contributing factors to other major health issues, like heart disease.