Sugar and Oral Health
"Christmastime is here!" ring the words to the familiar Charlie Brown Christmas song. Yes, the holidays are in full swing here in Columbus, Indiana. A chill in the air, children bundled up in coats and hats, and Christmas lights adorn the trees and shops that line the streets of our beautiful downtown.
For many of us, the holiday season is such a special time of year. Also for many of us, the holidays come with the tendency to overeat and indulge in our favorite sweet treats. It's official - Americans eat too much sugar. The average American consumes 22 teaspoons of sugar a day, according to a new U.S. Government report. It's not surprising that new guidelines stress that we need to cut down on our sugar comsuption. Not only does eating too much sugar increase the likelihood of getting heart diesase, type 2 diabetes, and other health issues, but sugar can wreak havoc on your teeth. Sugar is the basic fuel for all living things - including the harmful bacteria that live in our mouths.
The sugar molecules in white sugar adhere to the tiny bumps and ridges on the surface of the teeth, where bacteria can feed and proliferate when left unchecked. These harmful bacteria give off byproducts that create an acidic environment, and wear down all the surfaces in the mouth. Left untreated, this can lead to all kinds of dental health issues including bad breath, mouth sores, cavities, weak enamel, increased sensitivity, gingivitis, periodontal disease, and tooth decay.
While we all indulge in sweets once in a while (like those famous chocolate cookies Aunt Edith makes each year), it's important to remember to brush as soon as possible to prevent the sugar from clinging to the surface of the teeth. Even when we're eating foods that aren't sugary, it's still important to drink plenty of water to help neutralize acidity, brush morning and night, floss every day, and visit your dentist for regular cleanings.
Professional dental cleanings twice per year will help ensure good oral (and overall) health. Regular dentist visits are key to maintaining healthy teeth and gums, as well as catching any dental issues - including those caused by eating too much sugar - before they become serious.
Has it been a while since you've seen a dentist? Are you suffering from bad breath or tooth decay? Call White River Dental Columbus, Indiana to schedule an appointment. We'll help restore your beautiful smile to last through the holidays and all year long!
Merry Christmas from White River Dental!