It’s unfortunate that sugar is so bad for your teeth considering many of us have a sweet tooth. If you constantly satisfy those cravings, a steep price will be paid later on in the form of cavities and tooth decay. For your Kenmore oral care habits, sugar substitutes might give you a way to continue to enjoy your favorite foods and beverages without compromising your dental health.
What is so Bad About Sugar?
It’s common knowledge that sugar is bad for your molars, but most people don’t know the reason why. Your mouth is full of naturally occurring bacteria called streptococcus, which feeds off of sugar. This breaks down the sugar granules and converts them into acid, which can ultimately lead to enamel erosion. Once the protective enamel coating wears out, the tooth’s pulp chamber is exposed, causing pain and sensitivity as bacteria reaches inside the sensitive nerves.
How Sugar Substitutes are Different
The good news is that most sweetener alternatives do not present the same risk sugar does. In fact, some can even be quite beneficial for your teeth. Most sugar substitutes contain polyols – or sugar alcohols – and unlike normal sugar they don’t metabolize into acid when exposed to mouth bacteria.
When ditching sugar for an alternative, look for a sweetener with ingredients, such as xylitol, sorbitol, malitol, or isomalt. A 1998 British study revealed that these ingredients might also reduce the risk of developing caries (tooth decay) by preventing bacteria from clinging onto your teeth.
Since sugar substitutes hold some benefits, I can pour mounds of them into my coffee and breakfast cereal, right? Not exactly. Studies have also shown that too much sugar alcohol can lead to health complications, including diarrhea and abdominal gas. It may also lead to weight gain by tricking your metabolism and activating an enzyme that makes your body cells store fat.
Seeing a Dentist as Part of Your Routine Oral Care in Kenmore
When it comes to your Kenmore oral care and your health in general, moderation is the key. While sugar substitutes can be used occasionally for keeping your cravings in check, don’t rely on them as a daily sugar alternative. Don’t forget that you should also be seeing a dentist regularly regardless of your sugar intake.
At Kenmore Dental, our family dentistry services also include orthodontic and cosmetic dentistry. Your best bet for preventing cavities altogether is to have your teeth checked and cleaned regularly. Call at (425)437-1032 to get started.
Edited by Justin Vorhees
Kenmore Dental Care – Prevent Cavities & Tooth Decay