Did you know the level of acidity in your mouth helps control the amount of bacteria in your mouth? Your saliva is acidic and along with regular brushing helps to keep a low pH level which promotes good teeth and gum health. If you have too much sugar in your diet, it will directly impact the health of your teeth and gums. The amount of sugar, the type of sugar and the form of sugar can differ; yet they all will ultimately cause the same effect. When you ingest sugar, the sugar mixes with your saliva and begins to process, which causes the pH levels in your mouth to decrease, causing the acidity to increase. As the bacteria feeds on the sugars, they make toxic and poisonous acids. These acids will attack your teeth and gums for up to twenty minutes after the sugar is ingested. When this happens, your mouth becomes more susceptible to harmful bacteria growth. This bacterium feeds on sugars and this is what leads to teeth decay and gum disease. This is why good dental hygiene practices along with proper diet are recommended.
Non-liquid sugars, such as sugars that you chew, are detrimental because they generally leave a larger amount of sugar residue on your teeth and your saliva can not wash it away causing the elevated pH levels. When the pH levels are high, your teeth and gum are more susceptible to cavities and gum disease. This is especially true of processed sugars that are highly concentrated.
Sugars that come in liquid forms like juices and sodas wash over your entire mouth, and get into all the crevices, openings and cracks on your teeth and gums. Even if you brush thoroughly, twice a day, it is still very difficult to get in all of hard to reach places and the bacteria will grow in those areas. This is why cavities often occur in between teeth, under gums and other hard to reach areas.
Sugar not only affects your teeth, the same bacteria that create the toxins and plaque that attacks your teeth also irritates your gums, causing them to swell and bleed. If the plaque begins to build up, it will harden and create a tartar on your teeth causing your gums to pull away from your teeth, which then allows more of the poisons and irritants to get deeper on your teeth and under your gums. This can lead to severe gum disease and increase the amount of cavities you will have. If you are suffering from gum disease, your gums will be swollen and red and will bleed when brushing or flossing. A mild case of gum disease is known as gingivitis and may not be too painful, but if allowed to continue, it will lead to periodontitis, which is severe gum disease. If you have severe gum disease, the gums will pull away from your teeth effecting how your teeth fit together. This can cause long term dental issues that ultimately could result in you losing your teeth.
Having a good dental hygiene regimen, a healthy low sugar diet and regular dental checks up can help prevent cavities, teeth decay and gum disease.