When it comes to weight control, we often turn to artificial sweeteners since they are virtually calorie-free. And most believe since it is not real sugar that it is probably better for our teeth too. The actual problem is that sugar does not cause cavities, acid does. Natural bacteria in the mouth consumes sugar that is eaten and the waste product, as a result, is acid. Acid decalcifies or demineralizes tooth enamel by taking away its structure, creating decay. The acid eats into teeth and forms cavities. Bacteria will continue to produce acid for twenty minutes after the sugar is gone.
It’s important to read food labels carefully. Some products list small amounts of various sugars to hide the true sugar content. Because there are many different types of sugars and sweeteners, it’s easy for products to fool consumers. Sweeteners now come in many forms such as, sugar, honey, fructose, sucrose, Xylitol and sorbitol, just to name a few.
How excess sugar wreaks havoc on the body:
Sugar also doesn’t just impact oral health; it impacts overall health too. New research is starting to find that our levels of sugar consumption are making sugar a toxin that could be a driving force behind many diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and breast, endometrial, and colon cancers.
(Read more at Ask the Dentist: https://askthedentist.com/sugar-effects-on-dental-health/)
The issue is that artificial sweeteners don’t protect your teeth from the damage caused by real sugar: acid.
The researchers at Melbourne found that citric acid and phosphoric acid play big roles in tooth erosion. They are often found in sugar-free candies and colas for added tanginess, which tastes good, but harms your teeth. Reynolds warns that consumers should be aware of what kind of acidic ingredients are in candies and drinks and stay educated about how they can be detrimental to your oral health.
To decrease tooth decay, limit the number of times per day that sugar is eaten and the length of time sugar stays in the mouth. Have cheese for dessert, chew gum with xylitol, and swish with water after sticky foods. Dentists and dental hygienists receive training on nutrition and the effects of sugar. At C R Dental Group, Dr. Reisman, Dr. Contrucci and the professional staff of hygienists are prepared to answer any questions to help you achieve optimum oral health to keep your mouth, and your body, healthy for life.