Sugar addiction and oral health

On cold wintery days, there’s nothing better than a batch of warm cookies. Sweet treats like cookies, cakes, and donuts comfort us in the darker, winter months. They satisfy our sweet tooth. But once you have one treat, it’s easy to want them all.  

Research has shown sugar bears many similarities with other addictive substances. Once you make sugar a regular part of your diet, it’s hard to cut it out. Everyone knows that regular sugar consumption can cause cavities, but do you know the other impacts it can have on your oral health? Here’s just a few you probably didn’t know about.  

Tooth enamel damage 

Sugar is damaging to your tooth enamel, the outer layer that covers the underlying tissues. When this layer is weak, you may experience tooth sensitivity, discoloration and of course, cavities. Tooth enamel is important in protecting your teeth from damage and chewing. 

Acidic mouth 

Eating too much sugar can lower the pH balance in your mouth, which causes your mouth to become more acidic. This acidity can dissolve vital minerals in your mouth and eat away at your tooth enamel.  

Gum disease  

Your teeth aren’t the only victims of sugar! Excess sugar consumption can also lead to gum disease, inflammation and infection. Researchers have found that those who consume sugar in excess are more likely to have gingivitis, a form of gum disease. Brushing your teeth and flossing regularly can help prevent gum disease from developing!  

Ways to decrease sugar consumption  

If you’re ready to cure your chronic sweet tooth, here’s a few steps you can take. First, take it slow. Don’t try to give up sugar suddenly. Try to cut back one treat at a time, and don’t be afraid to reach for healthier, plant-based sugar alternatives that don’t cause as much damage.  

You can also begin switching out your sweets with fruits like bananas and strawberries. One of the best ways to decrease your sugar consumption, is to simply be conscious of what you’re consuming!  

Whether you have a sweet tooth or not, it’s important to visit the dentist often to keep your smile healthy! You can call us at (573) 243-5200 or stop by Jackson Dental’s office at 3100 E Jackson Blvd., Jackson, Mo., to get a visit scheduled.