can sugar cause cavities

Is Sugar Really the cause for your Cavities?

Kingston TN

You probably grew up hearing about the dangers of eating too much sugar. This wasn’t just a myth that parents use to keep their kids from eating too much candy. Excess sugar consumption can harm your teeth and is a major contributor to tooth decay. Your LakeView family dentist explores this topic in greater detail today on the blog.

What are cavities and how do they form?

Cavities are areas of decay that develop in teeth. They appear as tiny holes or openings in the structure of your teeth. By the time a cavity develops, the affected tooth has sustained permanent damage.

A cavity forms when your enamel, the protective outer layer of your tooth, breaks down, due to erosion from dental plaque. This plaque is a sticky type of bacteria that forms naturally in the mouth. Tooth decay is incredibly common among our population. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that approximately 90% of Americans have sustained at least one cavity by the time they reach the age of 20.

How does sugar contribute to the formation of cavities?

The buildup of dental plaque is the culprit behind the formation of cavities. However, the growth of plaque accelerates if you do not practice good dental hygiene, if you eat and drink too much acid, which can wear away your enamel; or if you eat and drink too much sugar. This is because the sugar mixes with your saliva, sticks to your teeth and provides fuel for the bacteria and plaque that cause cavities.

The importance of treating cavities

An untreated cavity continues to eat away at your tooth, going deeper and deeper into its structure. If a cavity reaches the soft interior of your tooth, which includes the dental nerve, this could create an infection that requires a root canal to treat. A cavity continues to grow and spread, eventually compromising the structural integrity of the tooth. This may require extraction of the tooth, which negatively affects your chewing ability and also leaves a hole in your smile.

For the above reasons, it is crucial to receive treatment if you have a cavity. If you experience dental pain, unexplained pressure or sudden sensitivity from one of your teeth, you should schedule an appointment with your dentist in Kingston as soon as possible.

Other symptoms of a cavity include:

  • A toothache, which may manifest as a dull throb or sharp stabbing pains
  • Visible hole or holes in your teeth
  • Pain when you bite down
  • Areas of black or brown discoloration on the surface of your teeth

Not all cavities are visible to the naked eye. This is why seeing your dentist every six months for a checkup is a key component of a good regimen of oral health. Your dentist can identify signs of a cavity that otherwise may go unnoticed.

Dental care in Kingston, Tennessee

You don’t have to avoid sweets altogether to prevent cavities, but it makes a good routine of dental care more important. Make sure that you brush twice a day using a fluoridated toothpaste and soft-bristled toothbrush, floss every day and see your dentist every six months for a checkup that includes a professional dental cleaning. If you find yourself in need of a dentist to serve you and your family, LakeView Dental Arts is here to help and is accepting new patients. Call (865) 376-9687 or contact us online by completing our convenient appointment request form.

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