Are Cavities Really Caused By Sugar?

As a child, avoiding sugar was probably one of the most consistent warnings you remember. Tooth decay (or tooth rot, as parents often called it) would be sure to follow if you ate too much candy or drank too much soda. The truth is that sugar does play a vital role in the development of tooth decay and cavities. However, it isn’t the only cause, or even the main one, and protecting your teeth requires more than just taming your sweet tooth.

How Bacteria Destroy Enamel

The reason sugar is a threat to your teeth isn’t because it attacks them directly. On the contrary, sugar’s threat comes from the fact that it feeds harmful oral bacteria that contribute to plaque formation. These bacteria metabolize sugar and other carbs, and then convert them into acids that attack the mineralized enamel surrounding your teeth. Besides sugar, these carbs can also include things like bread and other foods that you may otherwise consider healthy.

How to Prevent Cavities

In addition to avoiding sugar, preventing cavities mainly requires preventing the excessive buildup of harmful oral bacteria on your teeth. That means brushing your teeth at least twice every day and flossing at least once, as well as attending a checkup and cleaning appointment at least once every six months. If a cavity does develop, then you should speak with your dentist about treating it as soon as possible to avoid the potential for severe internal tooth infection.

Learn More About the Causes of Cavities

Sugar plays an important role in cavity development, but it isn’t the only cause or the only thing you need to protect your teeth from. To learn more, schedule a consultation by calling Lake Forest Dental Arts in Lake Forest, IL, at 847-234-0517. We also proudly serve residents of Chicago and all surrounding communities in the Chicago Metro area.

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