The Connection between Sugar Intake and Tooth Decay

Before sugar intake lead to hear something alarming about your dental health, it’s worth hearing something alarming about the sugar itself. The very important thing about sugar to remember is that it doesn’t contain any valuable nutrients which could help you in the betterment of your health.

Most of us think that bacteria in the mouth are actually responsible for tooth decay. While there is no denying this fact, associating sugar with the strengthening process of oral bacteria has proven to be a false theory. One thing that you should keep in mind is that bad bacteria also need the same kind of nutrients which can be useful for humans. Anything without sufficient nutritional value is not very useful for the bacteria as well.

Having that said, the type of bacteria that results in tooth decay is most commonly known as Strep Mutans. If we discuss about the theory which states that sugar is not directly harmful for teeth, we can conclude that sugar is actually something which Strep Mutans can use as food resource. But then it denies the fact that sugar is void of nutrients. Strep Mutans have to consume something in order to carry on the process of tooth decay. Hence, it can be said with certainty that these bacteria don’t need sugar to thrive in oral cavity.

Then it raises the question, “why sugar is so bad for oral health?

An article published in the journal Nature in 2012 suggests that while sugar should be regulated like tobacco and alcohol. The reason is the toxicity present in sugar. According to the study, sugar is usually based on the toxic materials which can lead to fatness, weakness of liver, reduced metabolism, brain function impairment, heart diseases, diabetes, and even cancer.

Some quick facts about sugar are as under:
  • Use of sugar can result in inflammation, accelerated ageing process and weakened immune system.
  • There are no nutrients present in sugar.
  • Sugar can result in production of fatty deposits in liver. This disease is also known as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
  • Use of sugar can increase the levels of blood triglycerides, leading to the development of heart diseases.
  • With sugar use, the levels of insulin in blood can become unbalanced. It can also lead to higher level if insulin. This condition can lead to obesity.

The reason why sugar can be dangerous for teeth is that the toxins present in sugar can lead to de-mineralization of teeth. While tooth enamel is made to resist the action of Strep Mutans, it can become weak due to interaction of toxics present sugar. Even if it stops at just the weakening of teeth enamel, rest of the decay producing procedure becomes easier for Strep Mutans.

Hence, you need to make sure that you are using sugar at the lowest possible extent. If you can manage to quit it, that would be great. Then you need to visit your dentist biannually. It will help you in retaining the health of your teeth and gums.