Does Sugar Actually Cause Cavities?

You may have heard that age-old advice from your parents or grandparents about the fact that sugar can rot your teeth—but is that true? Austell Dental Associates wants to shed some light on this theory.

Sugar in and of itself is not a direct cause of cavities. If you placed your tooth into a bowl of dry white sugar, chances are, nothing much would happen to the tooth. The sugar will need something to react with to create an environment susceptible to tooth rot.

Now comes saliva. You may be aware of the fact that saliva contains millions of bacteria. When bacteria and sugar meet, especially in such a warm and moist environment as the mouth, it will form acid. Acid is the biggest culprit behind many cavities, as that is what breaks down the enamel.

Remember that sugar comes in many forms: a gummy bear, a bite of chocolate, or a glass of fruit juice. Some carbohydrates and vegetables that are high in carbs can also stir up acid production in the mouth.

Maintaining Good Dental Health

Now that you have more perspective on how acid breaks down tooth enamel, which can lead to cavities and even tooth decay, you may be wondering if you can reverse acid’s effects. Not eating is certainly not advisable, for one thing. We do suggest, as a compromise, using toothpaste that contains fluoride. The fluoride helps rebuild what was lost from the acid deterioration, by replacing the lost minerals.

Fluoride is also beneficial for the following reasons:

  • Hinders bacteria from forming acid
  • Supplements lost minerals from day-to-day eating
  • Strengths the teeth, making it more resistant to acid attacks

Reducing your overall intake of sugar can be beneficial, but what would perhaps advise even greater is to watch out for how often you snack. Frequent drinking and eating throughout the course of a day, regardless of sugar content, will produce more acid over the course of the day than if you were to sit down and eat an entire bowl of gummy candies. We also highly advise you to continue with your regular dental check-ups to identify the cavities and prevent new ones from forming at the onset.

Skilled & Knowledgeable Dentists

Our team at Austell Dental Associates collectively possess 50+ years working in the practice of dentistry. Through the years, we have been demonstrating our commitment to providing compassionate, patient-focused dental care, while continuing to receive education on all of the developments within the dental industry. We help patients across a wide area of tooth and gum issues, from preventative care to cosmetic services.

Let us help you get on the right track toward better health. Our high-quality dental services are only a phone call away at (770) 467-3888.


Trusted Family & Cosmetic Dentists

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