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The negative effects of excessive sugar on the diet are so well-known, we’ve almost forgotten how bad sugar is for your teeth. While it’s no secret sugar can lead to weight gain, the problems sugar can cause for your dental health are as bad as what they told you when you were a child. Here are some things to be aware of that might make it less painful next time you visit your general dentist in Houston, TX.

Cavities

The bane of dental patients the world over, too much sugar can result in cavities. The severity of the threat sugar can pose to your teeth depends on the amount of sugar and the types of food you’re eating, but the results are the same. Sugar delivered in liquid form, such as sodas, has the ability to reach every nook and cranny of your teeth, allowing bacteria to grow in spite of regular brushing. Sugar-rich foods – especially sticky foods, like caramel – can leave large deposits of sugar throughout your mouth that won’t be easily washed away by your saliva. Still, eating large amounts of sugar over short periods of time is better than gradually ingesting sugar over long periods. For instance, sipping on a sugary cola provides food for bacteria, creating an acid-rich environment in your mouth that destroys tooth enamel. Limiting your intake of sugar and brushing regularly is the best way to avoid this.

Additional Dental Health Problems

You’re fortunate if having a tooth filled is the worst problem resulting from a cavity. Too much erosion due to over-consumption of sugar can lead to tooth-loss, a reduction in the size of your teeth at the back of your mouth, as well as extreme changes in your bite. The growth of plaque – particularly below the gum lime – can lead to gum disease, further increasing the chances of losing your teeth and requiring expensive dental implants to resolve.

Some Simple Solutions

While the worst effects of sugar in the diet are the result of bad habits, they can be counteracted by learning and practicing good habits. Brushing at least twice a day is imperative, as is flossing at least once. To clear the mouth of harmful bacteria, consider rinsing your mouth with mouthwash. Also, make sure to see your dentist at least twice a year for regular cleanings, and to address any dental health issues before they spiral out of control.

Changes in Your Diet

A few small changes in your diet can make a world of difference. For instance, heavy protein diets can help curb a desire for sweets, while diets rich in fiber and fresh fruit and vegetables help establish regular habits to improve both your dental and overall health.

Sugar is addictive. Once you start cutting back, it becomes easier to eschew the sugar over time, and make it a little less painful when you get general dental care in Houston, TX.